Bangalore: All is not well with the State-run Bowring Hospital from the perspective of a disabled person. This came to light during a surprise inspection by K S Rajanna, Commissioner for the Disabled, on Tuesday, along with the director of the Disabilities Welfare Department and other officials.
This followed a complaint by Manjunath, a diabetes patient from Chitradurga, who was admitted to the diabetics ward located on the fourth floor of the hospital.
The ramp at the entrance of the emergency wing was blocked by two-wheelers parked on one side. K S Rajanna, taking officials of the hospital to task, asked what was the point in having a ramp in the first place, if it cannot be accessed by the disabled.
The officials assured the commissioner that they would clear the blockage and make it accessible for the disabled soon.
The inspection team found the toilet at the hospital not suitable for people with disabilities. Also, there were no wheelchairs at the entrance kept for the disabled, which is mandatory under the People With Disabilities (PWD) Act, 1995.
Just when the inspection was going on, Chennaiah, a 37-year-old patient who had met with an accident and had cast on his leg, entered the emergency ward hopping, in the absence of a wheelchair or stretcher at the entrance.
One month’s time
The commissioner gave the hospital one month’s time to comply with guidelines of the PWD Act. The hospital has been asked to have dedicated toilets for the disabled persons on every floor. The commissioner asked the hospital authorities to make the lifts visually-impaired friendly. The hospital has been told to set up exclusive counters for the physically handicapped people at the new outpatient department.
After the inspection, the commissioner said that the hospital was planning to hire 24 specially-abled people to work as lift operators job at its premises.
Manjunath, the complainant, requested the officials of the Disabilities Welfare department to help him in rehabilitation. He sought a motorised tricycle and a photocopier machine so that he could eke out a living. The officials assured him of all possible help under the schemes for the disabled.