Hospitals for Bhopal gas victims face systemic mess

  • Sravani Sarkar, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Mar 12, 2015 18:09 IST

Inadequate facilities continue to hound the hospitals meant for treatment of Bhopal gas tragedy survivors and their family members, separate recent inspection visits by a member of the Supreme Court monitoring committee on medical care and a team of gas survivors’ organisations has shown.

The visits to Shakir Ali Khan Hospital and Indira Gandhi Hospital for Women and Children have revealed lacunae such as shortage of staff, poor sanitary conditions, delayed reporting by medical staff, drugs of questionable quality and improper arrangements for swine flu treatment.

The team of gas survivors’ organisation has already submitted its report on the Indira Gandhi Hospital to the committee.

The monitoring committee submits quarterly report on the status of medical care for the gas survivors to the MP High Court, according to the SC directive.

SC panel member Purnendu Shukla himself visited Shakir Ali Khan Hospital on March 10 and found major shortage of staff leading to problems in dealing with over 1,000 patients who arrive at the outpatient department of the hospital every day.

Also, a 30-bedded newly-constructed ward has failed to become functional due to unavailability of doctors, Shukla told HT.

He found arrangements for screening and treatment of swine flu patients lacking in the hospital.

He also confirmed that the report submitted by the gas survivors’ organisation on the Gandhi hospital had been received.

The report says the most doctors on duty arrived late at the OPD on the day of inspection (February 16) and left early (the duty hours are 8.00am-2.00pm).

Similarly, the registration counter, pharmacy and pathology unit opened late. Breakfast was served almost two hours late to the inpatients (copy of report with HT).

"We also found sanitary conditions pathetic with toilets and drinking water units non-functional. No or dirty bed sheets in wards and dumping of used syringes, needles and medicines seen on the hospital campus," member of the inspecting team Rachna Dhingra told HT.

Dr Sanjay Saxena, the chief medical and health officer of gas relief hospitals, said ad hoc appointments of doctors have been made to pave over the shortage.

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