The irony can’t be more stark. A 12-year-old boy comes visiting his ailing grandfather at the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) and ends up in the central emergency with serious head injury he suffered when a portion of the roof of the ward where his grandfather was admitted suddenly caved in and fell on his head.
Health Secretary Deepak Kumar has taken a serious note of the incident and ordered an inquiry into it. He has asked the PMCH Superintendent Anil Kumar Pandey to look into the reason(s) for the roof collapse as also to coordinate with the Building Construction Department Secretary in this connection.
The boy, Santosh Kumar, had come to the hospital with his parents, when the mishap took place. The TB extension ward on the third floor of the Rajendra Surgical Block of the PMCH is undergoing renovation. Santosh’s grandfather, Chabila Sao, Niranjan Choudhury and Mahavir Manjhi — all orthopaedic in-patients under Dr (Capt) Dilip Sinha’s unit — were among those present in the ward when a huge chunk of the roof collapsed.
Santosh, who lay unconscious for a few tormenting hours after the accident, is now undergoing treatment under Dr Vimal Mukesh’s unit in the central emergency.
Reached for comments, PMCH Superintendent Pandey confirmed that he had been asked by the Health Secretary to inquire into the reason(s) of the roof collapse. "We have taken full responsibility of the child’s treatment and will provide him all facilities, including medicines free of cost."
The PMCH building is over five decades old but the portion where the roof caved in was constructed barely 15 years back. Hospital sources, quoting engineers of the Public Works Department, said the materials used in the construction was of very poor quality and that the iron beams in the roof had rusted.
They also cast aspersions on the quality of the ongoing hospital building renovation work being done at a cost of Rs 17 crore.