Hyderabad: For the second time in about a fortnight, Congress women leaders trooped into a maternity hospital and walked into wards housing new mothers and babies born hours previously.
Their ostensible aim: To check out conditions in government hospitals. The leaders were ministers in the previous Congress governments, and know quite well the conditions in government-run hospitals.
They did not pause to think that their VIP visit — with the media in tow — would further strain the meagre resources at government hospitals, or pose a risk to newborns.
Former Congress ministers Sabita Indra Reddy, D.K. Aruna, Sunitha Laxma Reddy, Telangana Congress women wing president Nerella Sarada and over two dozen of Congress women workers and leaders along with the media barged into the Koti maternity hospital on Monday morning on a “field visit” to collect ‘first hand information’ on how women inpatients were being given poor treatment. The backdrop of the visit was the series of maternal deaths.
Like earlier, they did not bother to wear masks or gloves to prevent possible spread of infections. They checked out the toilets and went into the wards, unmindful of the requirements of hygiene.
This is apart from the inconvenience caused by such VIP visits to patients and their attendants. There also was disruption of work in the hospital and crowds gathering to see them.
Asked about the visit, Ms Nerella Sarada admitted: “We should have taken a few precautions during our visit. We will keep the heath aspect in mind during such visits.”
Ms D.K. Aruna said though a group of 50 women had gone to the Koti hospital, only very few — less than 10 — went inside. “Yes we should have taken some precautions, but in a hurry we did not think about it today,” Ms Aruna said.
She said Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao should visit government hospitals to get first-hand information from the inmates about the unhygienic conditions prevailing there.
She said the team was told by patients that an entire ward had one toilet which had no proper facilities.
She claimed a pregnant women who required O-negative blood was asked to discharge herself from the Koti hospital and get admitted into some other hospital as the blood group was not available there.
“One patient who was operated still had fluid coming out from the sutures. Some pregnant women were given delivery dates four days ago but were still lying on beds. In some other cases, women were not discharged,” she alleged.
Health minister C. Laxma Reddy said such VIP visits caused problems for patients.
“No political party should organise such a visit to any hospital. The sanctity of the hospital should be maintained.”
He said officials had complained about the Congress leaders creating a scene there, scolding doctors and nurses. “This is not good. I have decided to deploy more security personnel at all hospitals. Visitors will be screened and allowed inside only after taking precautions.”...