Mangaluru, Feb 26, 2015: Wenlock Hospital Superintendent Dr. Rajeshwaridevi H.R. said they had been struggling to dispose of unclaimed bodies, who died following suicide and accidents.
Despite repeated reminders, the police were yet to take steps to conduct the autopsy. The hospital cannot be held responsible for piling up of bodies. Her statement came following protests by the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike activists here on Feb 25, who questioned the hospital for keeping so many bodies in the cold storage.
The activists said while Health and Family Welfare Minister U.T. Khader had allocated Rs. 21 lakh for the renovation, nothing has been done to increase the capacity of the cold storage, which continued to be in the old location.
Apathy : The activists alleged that the hospital authorities and the police were negligent and turned a blind eye towards disposal of unclaimed bodies. The funds provided for the purpose by the city corporation had not been used, they alleged.
Disputing the claims of the activists, Dr. Rajeshwaridevi said, of the 22 bodies, post-mortem would have to be conducted in 13 medico-legal cases. Of them, eight bodies were in the cold storage since November last year.
“There has not been any response to letters written to the Police Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police for expediting the post-mortem,” she said.
For the remaining bodies, a process has been initiated to find their family members. If the letters returned or there was no response from the family members, the bodies would be handed over to medical colleges for study. “Records are maintained clearly, there is no illegality in this,” she said.
Meanwhile, Minister Khader claimed he was unaware of cramming of bodies in the cold storage. He said he has directed the hospital to use two more cold storage’s immediately.