Chennai: Taking quick action following the death of a female infant at the Government Kasturba Gandhi Hospital for Women and Children here, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Tuesday announced several measures for preventing the recurrence of such incidents and ensuring hygiene in government hospitals across the State. Jayalalithaa appealed for public cooperation with respect to the measures since they would help improve the condition of government-run hospitals.
In a two-page statement issued after chairing a high-level meeting on the issue at the Secretariat, the Chief Minister said nine medical personnel, including two doctors, have been suspended for dereliction of duty. She further said Irula tribes, who were adept in catching rats, would be roped in to exterminate the rat menace.
The CM said steps would be taken to ensure that no animals are found on hospital premises and if need be, extra workers would be appointed to tackle the menace.All local bodies, including the Chennai Corporation, would coordinate with hospital authorities to ensure that cleanliness and sanitary conditions are maintained properly in hospitals.
Since visitors to hospitals consume food on the premises, the menace due to dogs, rats and cats increases, she said, and added that steps would be taken to prevent visitors from bringing food into hospital premises. Further, all mobile food stalls on hospital premises would be closed with immediate effect and visitors would be allowed into hospitals only during visiting hours.
The CM also directed the administration of all government hospitals to ensure that the bodies of deceased patients are handed over to families concerned without delay, unless an autopsy was required. If it was not feasible to hand over the body, it has to be kept in the mortuary after ensuring proper protective measures are in place, she said.
Giving a detailed account on what had transpired at the Triplicane hospital, the CM said the probe concluded that the baby’s face was disfigured only after its death and it was apparently caused due to septicaemia (a blood infection). However, the body was sent for autopsy and the tissue samples were sent for forensic tests to ascertain whether the disfiguring of the face was caused by rodent bites, the Chief Minister said.
- Hand over body to the next of kin of the deceased without delay
- Take steps to keep vermin out of hospitals
- Use Irulas, who are proficient in catching rats
- As food consumed on hospital premises by visitors attracts animals, eating by visitors on hospital premises to be banned
- All mobile food stalls on hospital premises to be closed with immediate effect. Consuming food only at canteens made mandatory
- Visitor entry to be confined to visiting hours