As many as 29 workers will be employed at the General Hospital here to make up for the shortage of staff, Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar has said.
The decision was taken at a meeting he held with the hospital authorities and the officers of the Health Department here on Sunday, following Saturday’s media reports which highlighted the dismal state of Ward 9 of the hospital.
With help from the Kerala Social Security Mission (KSSM), 20 grade-2 attendants and six male and three female nurses would be appointed. This would address the address the issue of there being only three home nurses at the hospital. Surveillance cameras would be installed for round-the-clock surveillance, he said.
“The Hospital Superintendent will need to conduct daily inspections and the District Medical Officer (DMO) need to do so on a weekly basis,” he said.
In addition, an apex monitoring body to oversee activities here, including the MLA, councillors, District Collector, City Police Commissioner, DMO, Hospital Superintendent, Nursing Officer, and representatives of KSSM and Social Welfare Department, had also been created.
After the meeting, the Minister, along with K. Muraleedharan, MLA; Corporation councillors; and health officials visited the ward, spoke to the patients and took note of their complaints.
“The main problem here is that there are several patients here who prefer to stay even after treatment as they have no home to go back. This has led to overcrowding as new patients, who require immediate attention, also come in,” the Minister said, adding that there were only 40 beds in the ward and double the number of patients.
A meeting had been held with the Minister for Social Welfare and representatives of KSSM regarding the setting up of a rehabilitation facility for destitute patients.
The Health Department would coordinate with Hindustan Latex to provide 10 wheelchairs and 10 trolleys, in response to complaints that much of the equipment being used currently were faulty.
The Minister said the Director of Health Services (DHS) had been asked to look into the charge that two attendants dropped a body while taking it to the mortuary. (The attendants had been suspended).
Prior to the Minister’s visit, members of the All India Youth Federation (AIYF) staged a demonstration at the hospital seeking action on the issues brought to the government’s attention.
The district committee of the AIYF said a press release that a strong agitation would be launched if no action was taken.