HYDERABAD: The pathetic state of mortuaries in the State, some of which lack even basic instruments to perform autopsies, is likely to change soon. Health minister C Laxma Reddy, who made a surprise visit to the Osmania General Hospital mortuary on Monday, said that steps would be taken to modernise all mortuaries in the State, and a policy on mortuaries would be brought out soon.
The state of affair inside the mortuaries came to light when rats chewing bodies at the OGH mortuary was reported in December. Besides, the issue of doctors using stones and hammers to perform autopsies, owing to the lack of Medico-Legal Code for the State, was published in these columns on March 21.
During his surprise visit to the OGH mortuary on Monday, the minister inspected all the sections of the hospital. He checked the freezers used to preserve bodies, the room where post-mortem examinations were performed.
After the surprise visit, the minister said that freezers to preserve bodies would be provided to all hospitals where post-mortem examinations were performed. He also assured the doctors that equipment would be provided and more puff rooms (where bodies are preserved) would be constructed. "Currently, mortuary services are offered at 113 hospitals in the State. Steps are being taken to modernise all the mortuaries," Laxma Reddy said.
Skills should be upgraded to maintain international standards
Forensic medicine doctors from OGH and other teaching hospitals might refer to the facilities available at mortuaries where advances in the field are practised and emulate them in upgrading the OGH mortuary. At the meeting held between Laxma Reddy and Health department and OGH officials, the minister directed them to ensure that the renovated OGH mortuary was the best in the country, and international standards were maintained.
In order to maintain international standards, skills of existing faculty have to be upgraded. "The faculty should visit places and study advances in Forensic Medicine. Also, mortuary technicians employed now have not undergone any formal training. They learnt it over the years. A centre should be established where training can be provided to technicians who too are important when autopsies are performed," sources said.