Forget about quality medicines even quality diet a distant reality in Govt Hospitals

gy correspondent Jammu may 2
[ May 02, 2017 ] Everybody is well acquainted with discrimination with J&K State due to its special status followed by huge discrimination with in regions also. Many readers may not believe it that the diet which is being made available to patients in Govt hospitals is highly discriminatory when we compare our state with rest of states. Unlike other states J&K has failed to come out with any welfare scheme where it can ensure at least food items at cheap and affordable rates. If we go by the written menu of patient’s diet in Govt hospitals in Jammu region, which is the tender also and what is actually being served to patients has clear big gab in between. As per the menu of breakfast ½ litre milk costing Rs 17.10, 4 pieces bread Rs 3.64, 20gms sugar pouch Rs 0.86, handling charges Rs 0.13 which means breakfast to patient Rs 21.73. Likewise menu of patient’s lunch+ include 4 pc chappati costing Rs 6.84, Rice one plate Rs 4.91, Dal one plate Rs 4.97, vegetable one plate Rs 3.90. The menu offering Paneer + Lunch+ Dinner costing Rs 41.96 and rate of Nutri+Lunch+ Dinner costs Rs 39.78. It deserves mentioning here that the diet tender for the indoor patients was floated more than ten years back in 2006 by then Principal Govt Medical College vide No SMGS/NIT/2006-07/633-43 Dated 01-05-2006 for five years only but linger on for years together to M/s Mahamaya Sales Corporation in the year 2006 vide No SMGS/CPC/782-86 Dated 8-6-2006 that to same person in all these years even till date. In the RTI reply, the authorities did not make available any such information to the applicant. Then acting on an application of the contractor, the rate of milk to the admitted patients was enhanced in 2012 by the member secretary of Repair/Tender Committee of GMC, Jammu, according to the information received through RTI. The member secretary’s order does not have the signatures of other CPC members. It says: “Your (contractor’s) letter dated 11-11-2011 as regards the enhancement of rates of milk was discussed in the meeting of Repair Committee held on 29-12-2011. After in-depth deliberations, it was decided to enhance the rate for supply of milk to the indoor patients from Rs 24.30 per lt to Rs 25.20 per lt with effect from 1-11-2011.” Despite the fact that this order was issued on 17-1-2012, the contractor was given the benefit of extra two and a half months. The rate was enhanced by 90 paise per lt. Going by the number of admitted patients in GMCH and its associated hospitals, thousands of liters of milk is consumed there per day. So, by allowing contractor to charge on enhanced rate from 1-11-2011, the authorities concerned in a way gave him the benefit of lakhs of rupees. In the contract document, there is no condition which allows the authorities to revise the rates of milk or any other commodity. GMCH incurred Rs 113.73 lakh on diet in 2010-11, Rs 70.50 lakh in 2011-12, Rs 70.96 lakh in 2012-13 and Rs 50 lakh from 1-4-2013 to 31-1- 2014. SMGS incurred Rs 44.25 lakh in 2010-11, Rs 34.50 lakh in 2011-12, Rs 80.68 lakh 2012-13 and Rs 96.44 lakh from 1-4- 2013 to 31-1-2014. This amount was spent against non-plan expenditure. CD Hospital incurred Rs 8.99 lakh in 2010-11, Rs 5.50 lakh in 2011-12, Rs 5 lakh in 2012-13 and Rs 4.94 lakh from 1-4- 2013 to 31-1-2014. Information in this regard about Sarwal and Gandhi Nagar hospitals was not provided. When the tender was floated in 2006, there was no whereabouts about Super Specialty Hospital , and only inaugurated on March 13 2014 but the same person who was providing diet to Govt Medical College Hospital and associated hospitals was once again the work of diet to Mahamaya Sales Corporation which needs enquiry as to trust single person by repeating works to one person speaks of nexus between diet provider and the authorities. Moreover the canteens work was also provided to him without floating tenders to Sharma Brothers in GMCH and associated hospitals. Continuing the same and however under pressure when the media raise the issue however authorities floated a tender on 25-021-2017 vide No. GMC/PC/1328 which seemed an eye wash as the tender worth crores was not advertised widely what to speak of National dailes even it was published in low circulation newspapers and for only five years vide No. DIP /J-9005/2017 Dated 1-2-2017 so that competitive bids could take place for quality supply of food items but it was deliberately done once again to grant tender in favour of the their choice candidate. Tall claims of the Jammu and Kashmir Health Department about it providing world class patient care in the government hospitals have proved to be a hoax as the hospitals associated with Government Medical College here have failed to provide decent diet to patients. Moreover; the top officials of Health department have turned blind eyes and are acting as mute spectators. While in all other government departments, such contracts are allotted for one year only, in this particular case, the contractor has been allowed to make supply of diet initially for five years, then for next three years, followed by two more years. It is surprising that same contractor has been given the contract of supplying cooked diet food to patients in most of the hospitals in Jammu city. Why such a long term contract was given to same person for ten years is surprising as there should be tender for one year to judge the performance of contractor and further extension should be purely on the basis of performance but giving contract for five years in one go is not appropriate and also doubtful. Equally doubtful is not going for fresh tender even after the ten years time period. Such a love, for a person ignoring all the rules and regulations and giving extension per extension means the high level of profit being shared between the contractor and other officials involved in the contract. Moreover same has been observed while allowing chemists shops inside hospital premises where near and dear ones have once again given priority which is highly unfortunate. As it has been observed patients in good number don’t subscribe to hospital diet due to good living standard at home but the lists shows good number of patients taking hospital diet in papers only causing great loss to state exchequer due to carelessness of concerned authorities to take care of all this. Similarly in providing canteen services due care to hygiene was not taken care of neither the standard of food items were put to any condition or clause to ensure good quality food items to patients and their attendants for the speedy recovery of patients. The standard of food items being served in hospital canteens is far from being satisfactory and it is just time pass. More over the rate lists as per the tender has never been displayed for the information of concerned and also patients and their attendants have time and again have alleged that rates have been high and much more than the rates as per the tender. Concerned hospital authorities need to verify the facts so that the patients and their attendants can get good quality food at cheap rates. Besides, there is no mention of patient’s diet in any of the ward for transparency and also for the convenience of patients also so that they may have view of diet being served to them. Nutritionists and dietitians are professionals, equipped with the knowledge of the chemistry and nutritional value of foods and their preparation. They are the experts who develop new uses of food, advise patients in a clinic regarding their diet, serve as consultants to public health teams, supervise the serving of food in industrial cafeterias or hospitals, assist individuals or groups in dietary education, and teaching nursing schools, colleges and universities. For rehabilitation after illness or surgery, which includes helping patients to cope with their new life, and showing them how to maximize the benefits of the treatment, the guidance of dietitian is must. The dietician, on the other hand, provides guidance on the development of healthy eating habits, for example, with overweight persons advising on how to modify food consumption patterns, what high nutrition supplements to include in the diet and drawing up a personalized food plan to ensure that individual dietary requirements are met. But contrary to above, both health department and hospital authorities have failed to utilize their services notwithstanding the fact that there are two posts of dietitian each at Govt Medical College, super Specialty Hospital and at SMGS hospital. Not only this, there are six posts of Kitchen attendants at SMGS and Medical College respectively. It is unfortunate to note that despite manpower at its command why the hospital authorities so reluctant to undertake the work at its own which will save both money and dishonesty. J&K Govt must take lessons from states like Tamil Nadu and Madya Pradesh who are supporting poverty and below poverty line population by opening food canteens, drinking water and other basic necessities at cheap rates but one can understand that it is difficult task in J&K as the govt which fails to ensure proper ration quota to its population will find it difficult to enter into such venture.