KERALA

Government not averse to probe: Kadavoor

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, FEB.26. The State Government is not averse to ordering an inquiry by a team of experts from outside into the medical treatment provided to the former Governor, Sikander Bakht.

The Health Minister, Kadavoor Sivadasan, said here today that it was up to the Cabinet to take a decision in this regard.

The Minister stated that the Government had no inhibition whatsoever in probing the matter.

But he cautioned against any move to erode the credibility of the Medical College Hospital or demoralise the doctors working there. If the doctors were demoralised, they would not take any risk in future, he warned.

BJP's demand

Meanwhile, the BJP State president, P.S. Sreedharan Pillai, demanded that experts from outside the State should inquire into the alleged deficiencies in the surgical treatment and post-operative care given to the deceased Governor at the Medical College Hospital here.

The BJP leader said the youth wing of the party, Yuva Morcha, would stage a dharna before the Hospital on Friday to press the demand.

Mr. Sreedharan Pillai said the surgery undergone by the Governor was one that was normally safe. "It was the bounden duty of the Government to enquire into the details (of the death of Bakht)." Instead, the Health Minister was saying that he would inquire if he received a complaint. A Minister taking such a stand was not fit to continue in office, Mr. Pillai said.

He said that given the fate of Bakht, one would wonder what happen to the ordinary people admitted to the Hospital. However, events like that was the order of the day at the hospital, he added.

Mr. Pillai said that as a prestigious Government Hospital, the Medical College Hospital received aid from the Government. However, the Government allowed Rs. 1.20 crores of total assistance of Rs. 1.5 crores received from the Government to lapse. This raised doubts whether the Government was trying to help the private hospitals by not improving the facilities at the Medical College Hospital. The Hospital had the history of a Health Minister himself fleeing from undergoing treatment there, he pointed out.

Though the Hospital had decided on emergency operation for the Governor, no VVIP alerts were issued and no crisis management team was called in, he said.

The Yuva Morcha general secretary, P. Venugopal, said the Chief Minister and Health Minister, who had ignored past complaints about the functioning of the Hospital, were responsible for "the failure" of treatment given to Bakht. The Chief Minister should show the courage to take action against health authorities who ignored public complaints, he said.