State health officials have admitted that the four government-run mental hospitals are in need of major revamp.
A meeting chaired by state Health Minister Deepak Sawant was held on Thursday to review the condition of the hospitals in Thane, Pune, Ratnagiri and Nagpur. “The old buildings of the hospitals need immediate renovation and ways of managing these centres have to be modernised,” said Sujata Saunik, principal secretary of Health, Maharashtra. Sawant was unavailable for comment.
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Last fortnight, 27 patients reported gastroenteritis at the regional mental hospital at Yerawada and three patients died later. Officials said that the three persons, who had suffered from diarrhoea and vomitting, died due to associated illnesses. The incident led to a series of visits to the hospital by state health officials. “The century-old water pipelines at the Yerawada hospital need repair. The hospital was reviewed and a lot of ideas were discussed to resolve the problems. There are as many as 5,500 patients at the four hospitals and we will be introducing modern ways of management, including a nutritious diet, good hygiene and sanitary practices etc,” Saunik said.
According to state Joint Director (Mental Health) Dr S Tayade, a central team will be visiting the state-run hospitals by the end of June to review hospital conditions.
In April this year, the Bombay High Court had suggested privatisation, while hearing a PIL, for improving the condition of these mental hospitals. The HC bench had also pulled up the state for its apathy.