Mismanagement at K.R. Hospital and Cheluvamba Hospital: Upa Lokayukta initiates suo motu case against officials 
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Mismanagement at K.R. Hospital and Cheluvamba Hospital: Upa Lokayukta initiates suo motu case against officials 

June 29, 2023

Mysore/Mysuru: Upa Lokayukta Justice K.N. Phaneendra has taken a proactive step by initiating suo motu proceedings against the authorities accountable for the mismanagement of K.R. Hospital and Cheluvamba Hospital in Mysuru, which are affiliated with Mysore Medical College and Research Institute (MMC&RI).

The initiation of the proceedings comes a week after Justice Phaneendra visited the Hospitals on June 18. He has now instructed the registration of a complaint against the responsible officials. The allegation is dereliction of duty.

At the time of his visit, the Upa Lokayukta had expressed his dissatisfaction with the authorities regarding the substandard maintenance, lack of hygiene and inefficient utilisation of resources. Overall, the visit revealed poor maintenance, infrastructure deficiencies, hygiene problems, and negligence in patient care.

Deficiency in services

The Upa Lokayukta’s order of suo motu proceedings extends to various individuals, including District Health Officer (DHO) Dr. K.H. Prasad, Medical Superintendent of K.R. Hospital Dr. Nanjundaswamy, Resident Medical Officer Dr. Rajesh Kumar, Medical Superintendent of Cheluvamba Hospital Dr. Rajendra Kumar and Resident Medical Officer of Cheluvamba Hospital Dr. Shivaram Krishna. All the officers have been named as respondents in the Upa Lokayukta’s notice.

During his visit, the Upa Lokayukta observed several deficiencies in the services offered to the people who are from the lower strata of society who frequent the State-run Hospital. The Upa Lokayukta observed that patients with gangrene and cellulitis were unattended and lying on benches and tables without proper bedding or hygiene measures.

Moreover, patients in the wards complained about the lack of bed sheets, blankets, and poor bed conditions. Hygiene and cleanliness were also lacking. “Cancer patients housed in a damp hall were not receiving proper attention. They appeared undernourished and weak. The hospital faced space shortage due to renovation work, with some wards in a dilapidated state,” the Upa Lokayukta observed in his suo motu notice.

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Drugs from outside

Patients reported being forced to purchase expensive drugs from outside pharmacies and  surgical procedures were delayed, and privacy and facilities for differently-abled persons were inadequate. Food distribution was also problematic, he stated.

“A patient claimed that hospital staff demanded money for moving patients or procedures. He highlighted the poor conditions and called for immediate attention. Garbage was dumped outside the hospital ward, posing a threat of foul smell and pests. The hospital lacked beds, mattresses and basic infrastructure. BPL card holders were charged for X-ray imaging,” Justice Phaneendra added.

“Initially hesitant, patients and attendants eventually shared their grievances about the hospital’s conditions. Attendants complained about the lack of dormitory facilities and waiting areas. They were charged high rates at private diagnostic centres,” the Upa  Lokayukta observed.

Reimbursement of bills

The Resident Medical Officer and Superintendent assured reimbursement for tests conducted outside the hospital and were given 15 days to address the issues, the Upa Lokayukta said. The Medical Superintendent was directed to reimburse charges paid at private diagnostic centres and submit a list of beneficiaries.

The conditions observed in the labour ward, maternity ward and paediatric casualty of Cheluvamba Hospital were also deemed unhygienic and in urgent need of attention. Patient accounts further revealed the poor state of the hospital, prompting the Upa Lokayukta to address these concerns.

One patient from Nanjangud pointed out the absence of facilities for differently-abled individuals and the lack of separate toilets, including the unavailability of Western-style toilets, as highlighted in the  Upa Lokayukta’s order.

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Directives to Dean

To address the deficiencies, the Upa Lokayukta has directed the Dean and Director of MMC&RI Dr. K.R. Dakshayani to rectify the shortcomings in the hospitals within a reasonable time-frame. Additionally, a compliance report accompanied by supporting documentation must be submitted within 15 days from the receipt of the order.

Furthermore, Justice Phaneendra has mandated that copies of the order be sent to the Minister for Health and Family Welfare and the Minister for Medical Education, urging them to take appropriate action in response to the situation.

DHO clarifies

“With regard to Upa Lokayukta’s suo motu case, I have clarified to Lokayukta Superintendent of Police (SP) that K.R. Hospital and Cheluvamba Hospital do not come under my purview of administration. Hence drop my name.”

— Dr. K.H. Prasad, District Health Officer

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