Surprise inspections continue, official suspended and explanation sought from doctors

Yet another health inspector was suspended for failing to ensure adherence to sanitary norms after Health Minister V.S. Vijay conducted a surprise inspection of Government Stanley Hospital on Friday. The Minister also sought an explanation from the doctors attached to the outpatient wing of the Orthopaedics department.

The minister, who has been conducting surprise checks at hospitals in the last fortnight, arrived around 9 a.m. and walked into the orthopaedic outpatient block. Hospital sources said that the patients were being attended to by postgraduates and Dr. Vijay, himself an orthopaedician, inspected the registry and sought details of the outpatient statistics for the previous day from the duty doctor, who was unable to provide them immediately.

“He told the hospital authorities to seek an explanation from the doctor and the duty nurses whose entries in the registry were illegible,” a senior doctor said. The minister also inspected the surroundings and on finding the sanitary condition unsatisfactory, ordered the suspension of the health inspector. The Minister was accompanied by the Director of Medical Education C. Vamsadhara.

However, hospital authorities said that details were being maintained properly. “The senior doctor was busy attending patients and he was unable to recall the details. Everyday, we receive 4,000 patients in the outpatient department. The official bed strength is 1,600 and given the poor education level of the patients and their families, we have a tough time educating them on maintaining cleanliness,” a senior official said.

The hospital is in the middle of a construction zone with work on a subway on Monegar Choultry Road and a flyover in Mint, about 2km from the hospital, proceeding at full pace. A twin tower block is coming up on the hospital premises. The hospital also houses condemned buildings which are to be demolished soon but contribute to the rat menace in the area, employees said.

Hospital authorities say hiring sanitation workers, even on contract basis, is difficult. “We have been permitted to use a portion of the money received through the CM’s health insurance scheme. But the workers get paid only around Rs. 110. They do not come for work regularly and we have no powers to enforce discipline,” a senior doctor said.

The hospital has almost finalised a Rs. 100 crore-plan to build new blocks. The site for the buildings had been inspected and the government has approved it. The hospital would soon present the proposal for the new surgical and specialty block through the Public Works Department, the official said.

The buildings under construction are expected to be ready in a month or so.

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