There are more canines than patients in the burns and plastic surgery department located on the fourth floor of the Bara Hindu Rao Hospital in north Delhi’s Subzi Mandi.
It’s ironical the hospital is managed by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), which is responsible for keeping the Capital clean and free of strays.
For those who manage to navigate safely past the canines, unpleasant encounters with cows and monkeys await outside.
What makes a visit to this menagerie masquerading as a hospital even more frightening is the fact the hospital has run out of anti-rabies injections.
There’s more wildlife in the wards. The surgical ward located on the ground floor of the main hospital building is infested with flies, cockroaches and mosquitoes.
And this is where patients who undergo surgery are taken after the operation. The holes in the window mesh are big enough to allow monkeys in, along with flies and mosquitoes.
On October 15, three post-surgery cases admitted in the hospital developed high-grade fever and one — Ram Kumar — was tested positive for dengue fever.
Medical Superintendent Dr P.P. Singh denies all of it.
“I don’t agree with it at all. If you have found animals roaming in the wards, it must have been a one off case,” he said.
The hospital is not only filthy, looking at the way things are run, its management also appears shoddy.
The stench of urine accosts visitors as soon as they enter its dark, poorly-ventilated and damp corridors marked with betel-stains. It’s not difficult to spot the source of the stench.
Anywhere you look, men and women can be spotted urinating, including on the floor inside the hospital.
And why blame them.
Let alone use them, even passing by a public urinal is a test of tolerance.
Even the diagnostic facilities that have minimal patients visiting them are not clean.
The radio-diagnosis unit located on the second floor of the hospital building has no ventilation, with large damp stains on the walls adding to the cold, sickly atmosphere of the room.
Dr Singh denies his hospital is dirty.
“These are mere allegations as the hospital is kept clean and up to the mark. The situation cannot be generalised, the sanitation department is doing a decent job,” he says.
He blames the filth on water shortage.
“It could be because of water shortage on a particular day, the sanitation department failed at their job. Generally, the hospital is clean.”