Health Minister V S Sivakumar, along with K Muraleedharan MLA and others, visited the General Hospital here on Thursday and inspected the conditions in the ninth ward, where destitute patients are admitted.
After the visit, Sivakumar said that 10 of the 34 destitute patients who have recovered were rehabilitated. He said that steps have been taken to shift ten of the mentally challenged patients to the Mental Health Centre and talks were going on with the Chief Judicial Magistrate in this regard.
Taking note of the shortage of the staff in the ward, he said that 20 grade II attenders and eight home nurses have been posted there. Sivakumar said that closed-circuit cameras will be installed in the ninth ward soon. The ward would also get belt trolleys and wheel-chairs, he added.
The Minister also said that the hospital superintendent was visiting the ward once a week and was reporting the same to the DMO. The monitoring committee set up to study the issues at the General Hospital will have its preliminary meeting on December 5.
Councillor Kumari Padmanabhan, DMO Dr T Peethambaran, DPM Dr B Unnikrishnan, General Hospital superintendent Dr Faseelathu Beevi, deputy superintendent Dr Ajakumari and RMO Dr Stanley Jayan also accompanied the Minister during his visit.
The government has taken such steps after allegations of disrespect to the dead bodies and carelessness in attending to the destitute patients of the ninth ward were reported. 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 reached the spot late.
The ninth ward, which houses destitute patients, is crowded with new admissions every other day. It has been said that 80 patients are housed in the ward when the actual bed space is only for 40 patients.