BHUBANESWAR: Continuing with its populist measures, the Naveen Patnaik Government has decided to launch a new initiative ‘Mahaparayan’, offering free transportation of dead bodies from Government hospitals to the residences of the deceased soon.
The move, however, could lead to problems for the hospitals and health services authorities when the availability of carriers are set to be far less than the demand.
The Government has decided to deploy dead body carriers in the district headquarters hospitals (DHHs), the three medical college and hospitals, Sardar Vallavbhai Patel Post Graduate Institute of Paediatrics (SVPPGIP) or Sishu Bhawan, Cuttack, Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Centre (AHRCC), Capital Hospital, Bhubaneswar and RGH Rourkela.
A total of 40 vehicles would be assigned to the 37 institutions with one for each of the 30 DHHs, two each for the medical colleges including SCBMCH at Cuttack, VIMSAR at Burla and MKCGMCH at Berhampur, one each for Capital Hospital, RGH, AHRCC and Sishu Bhawan.
The vehicles are to be procured with assistance from Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF) and would be owned by the district Red Cross societies under respective Collectors. The Collectors would have the freedom to decide on the type of vehicles to be used as dead body carriers but with only condition that they can accommodate a stretcher within them.
The vehicles would have to carry a common branding including the logo and colour as prescribed for the ‘Mahaparayan’ scheme. The vehicles should be procured immediately, Secretaries of General Administration and Health Departments have directed the Collectors.
While the move is welcome in so that it would extend a much-needed help to the poor families, who struggle to get deceased kin to their homes, the hospital authorities are quite apprehensive of the fallout.
The number of deaths in the medical colleges and other premier hospitals including the DHHs are much higher than the assigned vehicles. For example, the SCBMCH witnesses more than 20 deaths on a day but will have only two vehicles at its disposal.
“The scheme will raise expectations among the people. When the hospitals will not be in a position to provide the vehicles, they will face backlash. There might be provisions for extending the facility to poor only but it will come to naught as most patients coming to Government hospitals are from the poorer sections only”, senior officials in the top hospitals forewarned.
The vehicles would have to carry a common branding including logo and colour as prescribed for ‘Mahaparayan’ scheme
40 vehicles would be assigned to 37 institutions
2 The vehicles are to be procured with assistance from CMRF and would be owned by the district Red Cross societies
2 Collectors would have the freedom to decide on the type of vehicles to be used as dead body carriers