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No transport in city, hospitals out of reach

Fifteen-year-old Pankaj Lohar had to take a break every few minutes and sit on the footpath by the road during the 45-minute walk from Sion railway station to Sion Hospital on Monday morning.

mumbai Updated: Jul 06, 2010 01:13 IST
HT Correspondent

Fifteen-year-old Pankaj Lohar had to take a break every few minutes and sit on the footpath by the road during the 45-minute walk from Sion railway station to Sion Hospital on Monday morning.

Lohar, who suffers from leprosy and has a deep, open wound on his heel, had travelled from Kalyan for treatment.

"We left home at 9 am and could reach the hospital only by 12.30 pm because we did not get an autorickshaw to Kalyan station or taxi to bring us here," said his grandmother, Vimla Lohar (55).

Lohar was among the few patients who managed to reach hospitals.

Public and private hospitals reported a severe drop in the number of patients at the outpatients' departments because of the bandh.

On Monday, KEM Hospital at Parel recorded only 1,337 OPD cases against the daily average of 5,000 cases.

Attendance of medical and paramedical staff was also affected.

"We had about 66 per cent staff attendance but our routine work or surgery schedules did not suffer," said the hospital’s dean, Dr Sanjay Oak.

Sir JJ Hospital at Byculla reported about 45 per cent fewer OPD cases than usual.

"Staff attendance for the morning shift was 100 per cent. But attendance for the evening shift at GT Hospital, St George Hospital and Cama and Albless Hospital was between 60 and 90 per cent," said Dr T.P. Lahane, dean, Sir JJ Hospital.

Staff, who reported for the early morning shift at BYL Nair Hospital at Mumbai Central, was asked to stay back for the next shift.

A few surgeries had to be rescheduled because patients' relatives could not reach.

Private hospitals also reported a sharp drop in OPD patients.

"The number of OPD patients was only 20 per cent of what it is on other days," said Dr Gustad Davar, medical director, PD Hinduja Hospital at Mahim.

Jaslok Hospital took stocked up on medical supplies and kitchen essentials, and arranged for extra security.

"The ICUs and operation theatres functioned normally," said SK Mohanty, Jaslok hospital’s medical director.