Make general hospitals the pride of our health system: Kerala HC to govt

The government pleader submitted that neither Ernakulam General Hospital nor other such institutions under the Directorate of Health Services have ever had a cardiac surgeon.
Kerala High Court (File photo)
Kerala High Court (File photo)

KOCHI: On September 15, Bhaskaran Nair suffered cardiac arrest. The advocate’s clerk from Cherthala was rushed to Ernakulam General Hospital, where doctors advised surgery. But adding to his woes, the 59-year-old has been made to wait for surgery, due to the lack of a permanent cardiac surgeon at the hospital. 
A frustrated Bhaskaran Nair moved the Kerala High Court seeking the appointment of a permanent medical team for cardiac surgery at the hospital. The court has directed the state government to respond in the matter on October 12.

The government pleader submitted that neither Ernakulam General Hospital nor other such institutions under the Directorate of Health Services have ever had a cardiac surgeon. Cardiac surgeries in such institutions are carried out by doctors from other institutions, including medical colleges. 

The counsel for the petitioner submitted that despite having a cath lab the general hospital  has always lacked a permanent surgeon. “This is injustice to the people of the city. The government is indirectly allowing the many private hospitals to loot money. When the petitioner approached the hospital administration for surgery he was informed that a date would be allotted three months from the date of enquiry,” he said.

Justice Devan Ramachandran pointed out that some of the best doctors in the state have expressed willingness to offer their services free of cost. Shouldn’t the government look into this? “I have received information through reliable sources that a leading cardiac surgeon is willing to work free of cost once every week. Why is it that such requests are not being considered properly?” the judge asked. “We have to make general hospitals the pride of our health system,” the court held.

Responding to the issue, Hibi Eden MP said Ernakulam General Hospital is one of the best there is. The absence of a cardiothoracic surgeon is an issue, but angioplasty and other surgeries are carried out by doctors from other hospitals. 

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