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No check on patient diet at MKCG Medical in Odisha

As patients have different dietary requirements, the Health Department had asked the MCH to introduce diet prescription slips for general, cancer, TB and other patients.

Published: 09th February 2020 02:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th February 2020 10:03 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BERHAMPUR:  Even as the National Health Mission mandates a full-fledged dietary department for ensuring qualitative and specific-need food to patients in Government-run medical colleges and hospitals, the MKCG MCH is a complete failure on the front.

The 1100-bedded hospital not only lacks the department but also has outsourced its patient food supply system to a private agency, without any checks or quality monitoring. The lone dietician of the hospital retired seven years back and the post has been lying vacant since.

Some staff nurses were assigned to manage the department after the dietician retired but when they failed to do so, the job was outsourced to a private organisation which now prepares and distributes food among patients.

The problems do not end here. As patients have different dietary requirements, the Health Department had asked the MCH to introduce diet prescription slips for general, cancer, TB and other patients. This too is not being followed.

As per provisions, the cost of diet for TB/cancer patients is Rs 60 per day. And for other patients, it is Rs 50 and Rs 25 for children. 

While meals that are provided to patients include rice, dal, curry and non-vegetarian items, the dry food consists of bread, milk, eggs and bananas.

Besides, there is no separate diet for general and diarrhoea patients. While the department should provide a special diet of barley, arrowroot, coconut water and lemon drinks for diarrhoea patients, these items are not provided to them. 

The MCH kitchen functions from a couple of rooms in the old annexe building of Indoor block.

Although it was proposed to construct a separate building on the campus on an area of 16,500 sq ft, the proposal is yet to move beyond the official files.

Authorities said they have apprised the Health Department authorities to appoint a dietician in the ward. 

No space for attendants 

BERHAMPUR: On average, at least 1000 patients along with their attendants visit the MKCG MCH every day. However, the hospital is yet to have an accommodation facility for attendants who either have to wait at the verandah of the hospital or sleep on the floor beside their patient’s bed.

Although a rest house for attendants was constructed near the Superintendent’s office way back in 2005, it has been closed down due to lack of maintenance. Most of the rooms are damaged and are being used to store unused furniture and other articles.

The only room which is in a good condition has been allotted to the driver of 108 ambulances. A year back, the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) had proposed to construct a ‘Vishram Sadan’, an apartment with 200 rooms for attendants.

The proposal was sent to State Government which directed the authorities to identify land for the purpose.

Although the land was identified, the proposal is yet to be implemented.

The principal of MKCG Medical, Prof Radha Madhab Tripathy said PGCIL has not come forward to implement the project.

Nutrition woes: 

  • The job of preparing and distributing food to patients has been outsourced to a private firm.

  • No diet prescription slips for general, cancer, TB and other patients.

  • No separate diet for general and diarrhoea patients.

  • No separate building to house the MCH kitchen. Proposal for a new setup is yet to move beyond the official files.

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