The Yercaud Government Hospital in the Salem District of Tamil Nadu, India, has inaugurated a new, modern autopsy block.  

The facility has been established with an investment of approximately Rs10.5m ($126,420). 

It was inaugurated by Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma. Subramanian on 22 January, as reported by The Times of India

The report said that the new block features a total of six rooms for doctors and hospital staff, along with a cold storage hall for preserving bodies and a spacious hall for forensic examinations.  

It also includes toilet facilities for medical personnel and visitors.  

The development comes after a decade of the hospital’s previous autopsy block being out of service, necessitating the transport of deceased individuals to another hospital, Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College and Hospital, in Salem, for post-mortem procedures. 

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Subramanian highlighted that an inspection last year brought to light the long-standing issue of the disused autopsy block.  

In a report by DTNext, Subramanian was quoted as saying: “The public and doctors of this hospital said that the autopsy room was not used for over ten years. If any dead body was brought to the hospital, it was sent to the Salem Government Medical College Hospital.  

“This would lead to a further delay of two to three days in performing the last rites for the people in the hilly areas in Yercaud. We brought the request of the people to the attention of the chief minister. And that’s how the advanced mortuary was completed at an estimated cost of Rs10.5m. It will now be put to use at the hospital.” 

Apart from inaugurating the new block, Subramanian also launched the 108 ambulance service for Pethanaichenpalayam residents to further enhance the district’s emergency response capabilities.  

Last November, the Tamil Nadu government announced the opening of a third government dental college and hospital in Pudukottai.