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Coimbatore Hospital canteen next to public toilet since 2016, authorities pay no attention

The hospital has an average of 7,000 people visiting it every day; thousands of people are admitted to various health care departments on any given day.

Published: 18th October 2019 09:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th October 2019 09:57 AM   |  A+A-

Coimbatore Medical College Hospital (CMCH).

Express News Service

COIMBATORE: While the hygiene standards of restaurants and food joints (however big or small) across the State is subjected to constant monitoring, the canteen inside the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital has managed to evade the purview of any of the supervising authorities. For, since 2016, the canteen has been functioning right next to the public toilet complex on the hospital premises. The obvious hygiene concerns notwithstanding, the canteen was moved to its current spot to allow for construction activity in its original space. The dean is of the opinion that this arrangement is completely fine.

The hospital has an average of 7,000 people visiting it every day; thousands of people are admitted to various health care departments on any given day. Given its over-100-year history and its importance in the region, the government has spent crores of rupees to develop the hospital's infrastructure. Despite all these measures, this canteen functioning near the public toilets seems to have not caught the attention of any authority.

The doctors at the hospital, however, are not blind to the threat of infection this situation poses. They note that the canteen should be established somewhere else on the premises. Till 2016, that had been the case. According to Dean B Asokan, the management had to undertake some construction work at the canteen's original site. When it was time for the canteen to be temporarily relocated, this -- a place near the out-patients block -- was the only feasible spot, he explains.

The toilet, though next to the canteen, functions separately, he notes. Asokan claims that this is part of the propaganda to spoil his reputation and says that a few people are purposefully spreading these messages about the hospital.

Consumer activists point out that the hospital should have just shut down the canteen for the course of the construction period, particularly given that there is an AMMA canteen near the entrance to the hospital. ''Shifting a canteen inside the hospital premises due to development works is unavoidable. However, the hospital management should have been more vigilant in selecting the place. An AMMA canteen is functioning near the hospital entrance. This ensures that visitors have other options for healthy, affordable food. Closing the canteen for the construction work would have been better than letting it function next to a public toilet complex," they reason.



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