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Hospital gets battery-powered car to help patients move around

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Service: Chairman of Kovai Medical Center and Hospital Nalla G. Palaniswami (seated right) demonstrates a battery-operated car purchased for transportation of elderly and disabled patients inside the hospital, in Coimbatore.
Service: Chairman of Kovai Medical Center and Hospital Nalla G. Palaniswami (seated right) demonstrates a battery-operated car purchased for transportation of elderly and disabled patients inside the hospital, in Coimbatore.

Special Correspondent

The hospital plans to buy six more, one for each floor

COIMBATORE: Kovai Medical Center and Hospital has acquired a battery-operated car to transport patients from the bus stop to the hospital building. While a trial of the car is on, the hospital plans to buy six more – one for each floor – to help patients cover long distances between their rooms/wards to the various diagnosis wings, chairman of the hospital Nalla G. Palaniswami told The Hindu recently.

Apart from ramps, stairs and elevators, the car would add another dimension for easy movement of patients inside the hospital.

Demonstrating the operation of the three-and-a-half-ft-wide car on 10-ft-wide corridors of the hospital, Dr. Palaniswami said: “Our new blocks under construction will have 600-ft-wide corridors. It will be difficult for elderly patients to cover this distance on foot, if their room was at one end and the diagnostic wing (such as scan room) at the other. So, we feel this battery-operated car, costing Rs.5 lakh, would be of help to them”.

The cars would be operated mostly on the ramps to each floor, but it could also be accommodated in an elevator. It would be of immense help to elderly and disabled patients who come by bus to the hospital for a first-time check-up or follow-up.

Usually, these patients sit at the entrance while an accompanying relative have to look for a wheel chair and a hospital attendant to take the persons inside. The attendants also found it difficult to wheel the patients over a stretch of 800 ft from the gate to the hospital building. Pointing at a small pothole, a hospital authority said this would impede smooth transportation of the patient and they could even experience pain or discomfort if the chair was pushed forcefully on unfriendly surface. “This is a free service for all in-patients and out-patients. The size of the building should not render movement difficult for patients,” Dr. Palaniswami said.

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