The government is actively considering the takeover of the Pariyaram and Kochi Co-operative Medical Colleges. “A decision will come at the earliest”, said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, responding to a submission raised by Benny Behanan in the Assembly on Friday.
Benny was highlighting the grave situation in the Kochi Co-operative Medical College, where three patients had died due to lack of oxygen supplies in the ICU of the hospital.
Benny Behanan, supported by his colleagues Anwar Saddath and Hybi Eden, made a vociferous plea for slapping charges of murder against those found guilty of dereliction of duty. He also demanded adequate compensation for the dependents of the three victims.
“Complaints on patient care were there in the Kochi Co-operative college earlier also. The government should immediately take over the co-operative medical colleges at Kochi and Priyaram,” he demanded. Co-operation Minister C N Balakrishnan said that a comprehensive probe would be ordered and action would be taken against all those found guilty. Unsatisfied with the explanation, many members were on their feet, leaving the ground as usual for Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to give a clarification.
Chandy said that the incident had virtually shocked the state. “Stern action will be initiated. The suggestion for taking over the Kochi and Pariyaram medical colleges will be actively pursued”, he said.
Chandy’s announcement coincided with the removal of Kochi Co-op medical College hospital superintendent K G R Mallan from the post. The gas operator in charge of the hospital has been suspended. A three member committee has been constituted to conduct a comprehensive probe.
The startling incident came to light after the Nurses Association lodged a complaint with the chief minister, pointing out that oxygen cylinders in the ICU were not re-filled on time.
It is alleged that with empty cylinders by their side, three persons died on successive days. Those deceased were Jayachandran of Kadavanthra, Pappu of Thiruvaniyoor and Varghese of Mekkad.