State health minister Surjeet Kumar Jyani in Friday compared the recent incident of a rat nibbling a dead man's face at the civil hospital mortuary to rodents “sneaking into a fridge at home and biting an apple”.
However, perhaps realizing the comparison could blow into a controversy, the minister was quick to add that the incident was a “mistake” that needed to be avoided.
“Ho janda hai aivey, galti ho gayi sadey to, aggey to dhyan rakhangey' (It happens, we committed a mistake, we will take care not to repeat it in the future),” Jyani said while speaking during the state-level Red Cross Day function at Pal Auditorium.
A few days ago, a body kept in the morgue of the Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital was found mutilated by rodents, triggering protests by the deceased's family members.
Senior medical officer (SMO) of the hospital formed a committee to probe into the incident, following which…..
Since then, the hospital has also started pest control and repair work at the morgue.
When asked by reporters if the incident was reflective of the sorry state of affairs in hospitals, the minister said “such incidents happen as rats cannot be stopped from entering a place”. Perhaps realising his folly again, he said renovation of the mortuary will be done.
Meanwhile, regarding the strike by Punjab civil medical services (PCMS) specialist doctors, the health minister said: “We have been talking to the doctors. Principal health secretary Vini Mahajan recent held a meeting with their delegation. I too had a word with their state president on Friday… we are trying to resolve the matter.”
The minister denied that the strike has greatly affected work at hospitals.
About the ultimatum by National Health Mission (NHM) employees who have threatened to go on a strike if their salaries are not hiked, Jyani said a meeting with the NHM employees union has been fixed for May 12.
The minister also said the shortage of medicines at the civil hospital was temporary and that stocks had been sent to rural health dispensaries as well.
“Besides, SMO's can also purchase medicine at user charges,” he said, adding that health services in Punjab are better than in the neighboring states like UP, Bihar, Haryana and Rajasthan.