₹5-a-meal for attendants at 18 govt. hospitals in Hyderabad

Attendants of patients competing for free food being distributed near Niloufer Hospital, Hyderabad.

Attendants of patients competing for free food being distributed near Niloufer Hospital, Hyderabad. | Photo Credit: K. Shiva Shanker

Attendants of patients undergoing treatment at all the 18 government hospitals in the twin cities will be provided food thrice a day at a subsidised price of ₹5 each from May 12, said Health Minister T. Harish Rao on Friday. He added that the construction of shelter homes is also being expedited at those public health facilities.

The government will subsidise the meal cost by picking up ₹23 tab and taking ₹5 from the attendants, with space provided for seating. Design for shelter homes for attendants in the four new super speciality hospitals coming up at Sanath Nagar, L.B. Nagar, Gachibowli and Alwal has been built into the construction plan itself so that the attendants coming from far-flung places do not sleep on footpaths.

Ten radiology labs providing free diagnostic tests like ultra-sound, 2D Echo and mammograms will also be thrown open to the public within a week and two more later this month linked to ‘Basti Dawakhanas’, Mr Harish Rao told a press conference at the Koti Maternity Hospital

“Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s vision is to see that the poor get free and quality healthcare amid clean surroundings from the primary level to the super specialities. Budget for health has been enhanced by ₹11,000 crore to fill up all the vacant posts of doctors and other staff besides providing necessary infrastructure. About additional 6,000 super speciality beds will be available through the new hospitals, including an additional 2,000 beds sanctioned for Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences. Weightage for new recruitments will given to those who had worked on contract during COVID-19 waves,” he explained.

The Minister, flanked by fellow Ministers Mahmood Ali (Home) and T. Srinivas Yadav (Animal Husbandry) and MLA T. Raja Singh, was speaking after laying the foundation stone for a ₹36-crore building for the hallowed Government ENT Hospital to replace the crumbling edifice with brand new eight operation theatres, 110 beds, ICU step downs, etc., with one lakh sqft built-up space; opening the new ₹2 crore CT-Scan machine at Erragadda Chest Hospital and new blocks with labour rooms and ICUs here. 

Considering the rush at the Koti facility, Director of Medical Education K. Ramesh Reddy has been directed to consider accommodating more medical staff from other hospitals of Petlaburj and Niloufer, besides starting evening clinics for people coming from districts.

Sanitation, quality diet

Fresh contracts for sanitation and food will be finalised in the next few days for all hospitals with budget for sanitation increased by up to ₹200 crore (each bed maintenance increased from ₹5,000 to ₹7,500) and the diet cost doubled from ₹40 to ₹80 for each patient. Workers, too, will get better salaries. For the first time, Scheduled Castes have been provided quota to participate in these tenders and it has been ensured that each agency handles not more than five hospitals, he explained.

Mr. Harish Rao said the government has taken cleanliness and sanitation issues seriously with the respective superintendents delegated powers as well as given financial leeway to take up immediate and urgent repairs. “We have experienced doctors and healthcare staff doing a wonderful job as they are successfully taking up knee replacement surgeries, liver and lung operations for free benefiting the poor, who need not go to the private hospitals for expensive treatments,” he said.

Childbirth in government hospitals has increased to 56% from 30%, indicating improvement of facilities. There is a proposal to provide incentives to mothers opting for normal deliveries to arrest the trend of Caesarean births in government hospitals, and initiatives like ‘KCR Kits’ had helped improve the maternal mortality rates in Telangana, the Minister claimed.

ASHA and Anganwadi workers are being provide iPhones and iPads for digital check ups of the pregnant women and make them exercise through video lessons to aid in normal deliveries, he added.

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Printable version | Jun 27, 2022 1:27:32 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/5-a-meal-for-attendants-at-18-govt-hospitals-in-hyderabad/article65388823.ece