THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the VVIP visits after the Puttingal fire tragedy hampering the treatment of injured persons in various hospitals, the director of health services has called for putting in place stringent guidelines to keep treatment zones out of bounds for outsiders.
The visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Union ministers within hours after the horrendous tragedy had diverted the attention of health officials. This was pointed out by DGP T.P. Senkumar who wanted the VVIPs to postpone their visit to the state by a day to allow things to settle down.
During the VVIP visits, large groups of people accompany the dignitaries and crowd the wards. They even enter the restricted areas posing serious threat to the patients. “Most people are unaware that the crowding around patients could cause serious infection and even put the life of patients in danger. Even patients with minor burns can develop infections bec-ause of open wounds,” Director of Health Services Dr R. Ramesh said.
Sources said even doctors, nursing staff and paramedics who were engaged in the treatment of patients had to suspend their work for at least 30 minutes due to the VVIP presence.
Protocol needed to save patients
There is a need for a strict protocol to ensure that patients are not exposed to infection, instructions are not violated and confusion is not created in wards, sterile areas and ICU. “Every person should understand that the hospital is a place where patient requires peace and better care. While VIPs who visit hospitals may take full precautions, it is difficult ensure the same for the large crowds that cause huge confusion,” the Director of Health Serv-ices Dr R. Ramesh said.
Apart from crowding of wards, the influx of people on hospital campuses also causes problems for the smooth movement of ambulances. As of now, the health department hospitals do not have specific protocol or guidelines during VVIP visits, especially after such tragedies. The health department officials have demanded that while framing such guidelines, all other departments, including the police, district administration and revenue should be taken on board.
“Health officials have a limited role in restricting the entry of unwanted people. The police need to enforce these guidelines especially those related to crowd control and traffic management in hospital campuses effectively,” he said. The health director’s concern over lack of crowd management came close on the heels of DGP Senkumar stating that the VVIP visit had put additional burden on the law enforcing agencies....