Patients upset over denial of cabin facility in inter-island vessels

Report by: 
V SENTHIL KUMAR
RANGAT
19 Apr 2017

As services in Primary and Community Health Centres in remote parts of these islands remain afflicted with shortage of specialist doctors, routine referral of  patients to GB Pant Hospital and then to super-speciality hospitals in mainland, if required, has become a common phenomenon. But lack of a bed/cabin reservation policy in inter-island  ships has started taking a toll on the patients referred from various health institutions. According to reports, presently the Directorate of Shipping Services provides only seating berths to patients and their medical attendants owing to which patients suffering from various ailments and their relatives are forced to endure a perturbing journey to Port Blair from different parts of this territory.
“It’s very disconcerting to notice patients lying on the floors of deck in inter-island vessels for more than five hours travelling to Port Blair. The Shipping Services Department provides only seats to patients referred to GB Pant Hospital and their medical attendants. Several patients referred to GB Pant Hospital from the PHCs and CHCs here have reported deterioration in their health conditions while travelling in boats without bed facilities. The Health Department should take the issue with the Shipping Services and formulate a policy to reserve cabins for referral patients,” said some residents of Rangat.