Punjab health minister Surjit Kumar Jyani on Thursday paid a surprise visit to the Shaheed Babu Labh Singh Civil Hospital and ordered the transfer of a doctor and a staff nurse besides marking an inquiry against a pharmacist for alleged misconduct.
The health minister found that patients were being prescribed medicines available outside despite clear instructions of the government to mention only medicines which can be availed at the hospital pharmacy. Jayani was accompanied by principal secretary, health, Vikas Garg, director health Dr Karanjit Singh.
He directed the medical superintendent of the civil hospital to conduct an inquiry into this.
Jyani claimed that a secret cell was inspecting the civil hospital for last three days and found several discrepancies on which a report will be prepared soon. He ordered the transfer of Dr Surinder Pal to Mansa and staff nurse Meena Kumari to Nakodar while marking an inquiry against pharmacist Bhupinder Singh for irregularities in offering services to patients.
Jyani visited the emergency, outpatient department (OPD), pharmacy, male and female surgical wards, blood bank and laboratory where he found several anomalies such as patients were found purchasing medicines from market, ill-treatment meted out by some health staff and filth lying all over and smell emanating from washrooms and toilets. He asked the doctors and staff nurses to treat the patients cordially and warned them with action if anyone was found violating guidelines.
He informed that the government has approved recruitment of 250 posts of medical officers to ensure uninterrupted functioning of the healthcare institutions and 210 new recruited doctors would join soon. Jayani did not inspect the intensive care unit (ICU) and trauma ward which he had visited last time.
He had expressed displeasure over the sorry state of affairs at the civil hospital after finding leaking water pipes, blockade of sewerage. Even equipment such as ventilators, air-conditioners, and monitors were found non-functional. He had promised that everything would be alright within a month but to no avail.
When asked about the condition of ICU and trauma ward, he claimed that situation will change soon. About patients at the ICU being forced to drink water from toilet taps and women toilet were closed for few months, he said a three-member committee would be set up to check the problem. He, however, did not name members of the committee. He again claimed that the civil hospital would be made a “model hospital” where a private firm would be hired for performing the cleaning work with the help of machines.