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Eateries in govt hosps stay shut, patients go hungry
People visiting the government hospitals are facing hardships as the canteens and eateries attached to these facilities are yet to open. This is in spite of the general medical wards starting to function. Even the patients admitted to these hospitals are finding it difficult to get their meals.
The regular vendors who used to send food items inside the wards stopped doing so fearing COVID-19. “I have to leave my uncle alone in the ward every time I go out to buy food other necessary things from near the Chennai Central Railway Station. He is bedridden and thus requires help very often but it takes about 45 minutes to an hour for me to get back as the shops are crowded,” said R Nagaraj, attendee to a patient at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH).
Patients at the Stanley Medical College and Hospital also face similar issues as the eateries on the hospital premises are closed due to the pandemic. “The entry is restricted and only one attendee is allowed. I have to call my family members who stay in T Nagar to get food at least twice a day because I cannot leave my mother alone,” said Parvathy, another attendee.
The authorities said the regular out-patients and in-patients were fewer but the food services used to be in excess and there was huge wastage.
“The canteens inside the hospital are closed as patients were apprehensive. However, the in-patients require food and we are planning to open the canteen again soon,” said Dr P Vasanthamani, dean at Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital.
The RGGGH authorities said their canteens would also start functioning soon. “The canteens are planned to be opened by this month-end,” said Dr E Theranirajan, dean of RGGGH.