No voting opportunity for more than 10k patients


aaron, Mar 31, 2019, 4:05 PM IST

Mangaluru: They possess the voter ID cards. Their name is on the voters list. Even then, it is not possible for them to cast their votes. This is so because all of them are patients getting treatments at various hospitals!

According to the sources from the Health Department, daily at least 10,000 patients get admitted into the hospitals in the state regarding various ailments. Taking this calculation into consideration, more-or-less the same number of patients may be expected to remain admitted at various hospitals in the state on voting day as well. Hence, inevitable they will not be able to cast their votes this election.

As per the source from a private hospital in Mangaluru, which has the capacity to provide treatments to 1,000 patients at a time, currently has 650 admitted patients. In the same numbers, their relatives are there to take of them. Most of the patients are from Kerala, Uttara Kannada and other districts. According to the doctors treating the patients, of the 650 patients, 300 patients cannot leave the hospital.  Thus, so many people will definitely be not able to cast their votes on the Election Day.

If this is the situation in one private hospital in Mangaluru, there are around 10 such hospitals in Mangaluru city with 1,000 bed capacity. Here too a similar condition persists and hence, more or less 3,000 patients shall be deprived from the opportunity to cast their votes. Besides, it will not be possible for all those who are looking after the patients at the 950 bed capacity Wenlock Government Hospital to leave the hospital and go to cast their votes.

As per the information for the district Health Department, there are almost 118 private/government health centres in DK district including nursing home, community health centres and hospitals. Of them, if some have 5-6 bed capacity there are others with 100-200 bed capacity. Hence, there are almost a minimum of 10,000 patients in the city along with their caretakers of whom. At least 5,000 persons will not be able to cast their votes. Even in Udupi district, thousands of patients are unable to cast their votes.

Even if possible, too many questions!

Presently, the Election Commission is faced by an enigma on how to provide voting facility to the patients getting treated at the hospital. Currently, it is not possible to provide them with postal vote. If in case postal voting is provided to them, there is a chance that it may be misused. Instead, is it possible for the Commission itself to put a polling station at the hospital? Or, can the officials from the commission visit individual hospitals and get the voting done? Are a few of the many questions on which the commission is deliberating on. But on that occasion, the minds of the patients may be fickle / confused / abnormal, and then can their votes be considered as valid under such circumstances.

“Caretakers cast your vote”

“The Election Commission has not taken any decision on providing an opportunity for the patients receiving treatment in the hospital to cast their votes. The commission might take a proper decision regarding this in the next phase. But, those who are taking care of the patients in the hospital must please make time, to come out of the hospital and cast their votes,” requested Sasikanth Senthil, DK Deputy Commissioner

“Voting for patients; Let inspection be conducted”

“Patients getting treated at hospitals and most of the people taking care of them are deprived from casting their votes. For this and with the aim to provide an opportunity for those in the hospital to cast their votes, special survey must be conducted and action must be taken after inspecting the possibilities,” said Dr Sachidanand Rai, President, Indian Medical Association, Mangaluru

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