The National Rural Health Mission envisages separate dietary department for patients of the three medical colleges and hospitals in the State. The MKCG Medical College and Hospital (MCH), however, is yet to implement the directive issued a year ago.
The kitchen in this medical college and hospital functions from a couple of rooms in its old surgery block, while there is just one dietician for the 1,081-bed hospital, who is accompanied by a staff nurse. As the dietician and a staff nurse are unable to supervise the diet for 1,081 patients, the work was later outsourced to a private organisation, which prepares and distributes food.
As per provisions, the cost of diet for TB/cancer patients is `60 per day. For other patients, it is `50 and `25 for children. Rice, dal, curry and non-vegetarian items are served during meal. Dry food consists of bread, milk, eggs and bananas.
As per norms, the dietary department should have special diet like barley, arrowroot, coconut water and lemon drinks for diarrhoea patients. But in the last one year, none of these food items has been provided to these patients in MKCG, sources alleged.
Previously, there have been even incidents of stray dogs entering the kitchen and this has been brought to the notice of the National Human Rights Commission by one Sibasankar Patra.
According to the dietary department chart in the last fortnight, as against the 1,081 beds, the number of patients in the medical college and hospital has been maintained at a little over 800. As per the chart, more than 85 per cent of these patients prefer dry food.
Meanwhile, the Director of Medical Education and Training, in a recent letter to the MKCG MCH Superintendent, Ashok Behera, directed him to implement the diet department project in the hospital at the earliest.
It has been proposed to construct a separate building on the MCH premises to house the dietary department on an area of 16,500 sq ft. This building will have kitchens, utensils washing area, food and linen storage areas besides offices.
This apart, appointments need to be made for one chief dietician, two assistant dieticians, two catering officers, one store keeper-cum-typist, one steward, one assistant steward, 12 cooks and 40 personnel for distributing food.
“Since the proposal has been prepared in accordance with the suggestions of the sub-committee headed by Dr Y K Subhramanyam, Deputy Director (General Health Services), New Delhi, the State Government may be moved for allocation of funds for establishment of the Dietary Department in MKCG MCH,” the letter stated.