- The presence of the minister will cause the crowd
- The lives of ministers are also important
- The presence of ministers is an impediment to hospital activities
Kochi: All India Professional Congress state president Dr SS Lal on Monday lashed out at the health minister for visiting the area where the Nipah virus was confirmed.
The arrival of the minister at the place where the Pandemic has spread will cause the crowd to gather there again. It can also lead to the spread of disease. Germs have no way of identifying VIPs, so they should be avoided. The lives of ministers are also important. Health workers will remember the safety measures they learned. Uneducated ministers and those around them pose a threat to their own health and that of others. Suffice it to say that the Home Minister does not go directly to lathicharges and arson.
The very practice of ministers fighting the disease from the front is wrong. Often the presence of ministers is a hindrance to hospital activities. The focus of treatment will shift to discussions on ministerial protocol issues. Thiruvananthapuram Medical College itself has witnessed such situations during the Peruman tragedy as well as on some other occasions. Media rush to take pictures of ministers who visited the emergency department. The competition of some hospital authorities to get into that photo. In the meantime, patients have been forgotten. Eventually some celebrities had to be asked to go back home. To be treated comfortably- says Lal.
It is a good idea for health ministers to take the lead and reassure physicians in the face of the spread of dangerous infectious diseases. It is also a good idea for the minister to go to the headquarters of the infected district and help coordinate the activities of the first days. The work done in this way by the former Health Minister Mrs. Shailaja Teacher and the present Health Minister Mrs. Veena George is commendable. Former health ministers have done the same. They too deserve praise.
What remains to be said is even more important. Ministerial leadership does not mean that the minister has to go to the ICU of the hospital where the patient is being treated. There are people who know how to work. If not, it should not be resolved in such an emergency.
Although there is no cabinet in Kerala, the health sector will function. Because the health sector is so broad and decentralized. The Director of the Department of Health is the authority of the Department of Health in the State. Neither the minister nor the department secretary. The health sector exists because of the co-operation of public health workers, Asha workers, volunteers, medical colleges and private hospitals, from the director of the health department to the top of the department. Diseases are treated accurately. Besides, the germs do not turn away when they see ministers or fear government orders. It only happens in movies. Not so in hospitals.
The director of the health department is now some kind of man no one knows about. This is another loss that came when Covid came. It was snatched away by the health minister from the director of the health department who led it in the early days. The Chief Minister snatched it from the Health Minister. The director of the health department was a talented woman doctor. During Covid, they quit their jobs. Control is now in the hands of the Secretary of Health. Covid was an opportunity to re-energize the health department in the face of great adversity. That too was lost.
Things are no different in the districts. In many places, Covid’s district review meetings are chaired by the superintendent of police. Covid, a public health problem, was thus made a law and order problem. In many places, district medical officers have become on the lookout. The current situation seems to have destroyed the health department in a very planned way. With all due respect to the former health minister, let me say that they are also responsible for this collapse. And the Chief Minister.
On the day of becoming the Minister of Health, there will be no expertise in all matters of health. No one expects that from you. It takes time, even to understand the basics. Until then, bring in the Director of Health or the experts he appoints. Tell them when it comes to science. It will increase credibility. Add local medical officers to the districts. There is no way the incompetent can be in those chairs. Or train them if you have to. If they still do not improve, replace them. This time too, if there is a delay in finding the Nippa on time, it should be investigated. Is with you in that regard.
Avoid those who make a big fuss again by saying the name of Nippa. That agenda is wrong. Experts are needed there. Not the ministers or the party. Use every opportunity to empower health department officials. Because they are the ones left here. The cabinet and ministers will change. A person who was once the Minister of Health may not later become the Minister of Health. Need more details.
I am writing this in the hope that the Minister of Health will read this note. Some mischievous advisers will suggest that the author is a Congressman. The ministry does not care. It was these advisors who brought Kerala to Kovil. I do not claim to be an expert. But he is a teacher who teaches public health in many parts of the world. Today is Teacher’s Day. There will be no trouble.
As health ministers, we all need to secure every step of the way. Ordinary people in this country are in danger if you make a mistake. Without party differences or caste differences. So your success will be the success of the state. It doesn’t need dramas, movies or awards. Without any of this, Kerala has long been at the forefront of the health sector. Just read and study that history. Just do the rest of the work on top of it. Without error. If the steps seem erroneous they will still be pointed out. If not corrected, I will still oppose it, ”SS Lal said in a Facebook post.
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