Health Minister V S Sivakumar on Sunday said that the Director of Health Services (DHS) will probe into the allegations of forcing patients in the ninth ward of the General Hospital to lie along with dead bodies.
Action will be taken against those responsible for the act after the report is received, Sivakumar said after visiting the hospital. He said that a monitoring committee would also be set up to study the issues at the hospital. It will have as members the local MLA, councillor, District Collector, City Police Commissioner, District Medical Officer, Hospital Superintendent, RMO, nursing officer and representatives from the Social Security Mission and Social Welfare Department.
Stating that emergency measures would be taken to address the grievances of the patients, Sivakumar said that a closed-circuit camera will be installed in the 9th ward. He said that 20 more attendants would be appointed. ‘’The District Medical Officer would be instructed to visit the hospital once a week,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, activists of the DYFI and AIYF staged a protest in front of the General Hospital against the alleged negligence of the bodies. Later, Sivakumar held talks with the activists. He assured the activists that immediate measures would be taken to improve the conditions at the hospital.
He said that 80 patients are crowded in the ward, when the actual bed space is for only 40 patients. ‘’Talks will be held with the Social Welfare Minister for rehabilitate those who have recovered from their illness,’’ Sivakumar said.
The alleged disrespect to two destitute bodies had led to a controversy on Saturday. It was alleged that the bodies were placed on the verandah of the ward among the patients. The bodies were not shifted as the doctor who was supposed to examine and issue the death certificate had reached the spot late.
DYFI activists, led by former minister M A Baby, had taken out a protest march to the hospital on Saturday alleging that patients were made to lie along with dead bodies. They said that there was a delay in shifting the bodies to the mortuary and had sought action against those responsible for the disrespect towards the bodies and neglect of patients. The DMO had suspended a daily wages employee and a nursing assistant after the issue came to light.
The ninth ward is where the destitute patients are housed.
K Muraleedharan MLA, councillors, DMO, ADM, RMO and representative of the Social Security Mission accompanied the Minister.