Cuttack, Jan. 6: A PIL has sought Orissa High Court’s intervention to start the functioning of a destitute ward at SCB Medical College and Hospital here.
The special ward, the first of its kind in Odisha, was set up at the hospital more than seven months ago. But, it is yet to become operational.
The ward aimed to ensure proper care and treatment for persons abandoned by their family, unknown accident victims and patients without attendants. The special ward has been ready with required civil infrastructure since May, last year.
But the project is yet to take off owing to the alleged unwillingness of authorities to spare doctors and paramedics citing staff shortage.
Around 20 destitute patients undergo treatment in different departments at any given point of time.
“Immediate functioning of the special ward has become important to protect the human rights of the hapless and helpless patients,” the PIL contends.
According to the petition, SCB had decided to set up the destitute ward in May after the Cuttack district administration pressed for it on the basis of a proposal submitted by the advocates’ committee constituted by the high court to monitor healthcare services.
The old pulmonary diseases ward was renovated to accommodate 20 beds initially with plans to expand the bed-strength to 35. Social organisations were also roped in to provide attendants with remuneration borne out of Swasthya Vikash Samiti funds. The special ward was originally scheduled for inauguration on May 26.
“The case of the death of Italian tourist, Sebastian Rosario Contiguglia, on December 14 last year while undergoing treatment at SCB Medical College Hospital is an example of the pathetic plight of patients who have no one to care”, the PIL contends.