The Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh seems bent on making patients, even those who recently underwent surgery to squat on Indian-style toilets.
PGIMER's surgical wards, located in the Block-C of Nehru Hospital, have Indian-style toilets which patients find difficult to use.
Recently, a patient from female surgical ward of the Nehru Hospital had also made a complaint regarding the difficulties being faced by the female patients in the surgical ward due to the Indian style toilets. The matter was also discussed at the Patient Grievances and Readdressal Committee. The committee has also asked the engineering department of the institute to ensure that at least 50% toilets in the hospital be Western style.
The condition of toilets at PGIMER has always been a subject of criticism. The administration had to face embarrassment during the recent visit of union health minister JP Nadda.
To stop the stink from the ill-maintained toilets, the administration locked some of the public toilets and also stopped entry of patients and attendants to certain areas where the health minister's visit was scheduled. Even during Swachh Bharat campaign, the issue of toilets for public use inside the hospital remained unaddressed.
The toilets in the hospital can be categorized into four types. First and the best one is the one besides Bhargava auditorium which was exclusively built during the then prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh's visit in 2009.
It remained locked for a long time, only opened when a VIP visits the hospital. The second category is for top functionaries like head of the departments and other senior functionaries, which is attached to their offices. Another is for other doctors and staff.
The worst are the ones meant for public. The difference in cleanliness is such that doctors and other staff don't allow common people to use their toilets. They lock the toilets and keep keys at a common place, so that only 'insiders' could use those.