Also issues memos to senior doctor, nursing superintendent

A sergeant in-charge of supervising cleanliness at the Government Royapettah Hospital was suspended on Tuesday by Health Minister V.S. Vijay during a surprise visit there. He also issued a memo to two senior healthcare staff as they were unable to offer credible explanations for lapses in their work.

According to a hospital authority, the minister arrived unannounced around 9.30 a.m. and inspected the hospital premises.

“There was some garbage in a particular area and the minister wanted to know why it had not been cleared. A senior professor of medicine was unable to provide details of the cases he had seen in the outpatient ward that morning as he had made no entry in the ledger. Also, the head nurse was reprimanded for poor housekeeping,” the official said.

Sources said the doctor had not been able to explain the cases as he had not made the mandatory entry in the daily register. The minister also found trolleys littered across the hospital corridors. He wanted an explanation from the matron for not clearing them, which was not forthcoming. He immediately issued memos to the grade 1 nursing superintendent for insufficient supervision.

According to a hospital official, a decision on whether to punish or revoke the suspension would be taken only after an enquiry.

On Saturday, Blue Cross of India rounded up five dogs and 14 cats from the hospital premises. For the last three days, Chennai Corporation’s workers have been placing rat traps, the official said.

On August 27, a 12-day-old dead infant was found with her face disfigured at the Government Kasturba Gandhi Hospital where she was born. The baby’s family suspected that rats had gnawed at the baby’s face and demanded action against the staff. The next day, the government suspended nine staff members at the hospital. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa also announced a seven-point programme to improve hygiene in State-run hospitals.

Since then, Dr. Vijay has undertaken surprise visits to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital where he suspended a health inspector, and to the Institute of Child Health in Egmore to which the hospital for children is attached.

On Monday, during a visit to at the Government Hospital for Women and Children, he issued stern warnings to the hospital authorities about maintaining cleanliness.

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