The authorities of the Guru Gobind Singh (GGS) medical college and hospital had reportedly spent about Rs 2.5 lakh on the installation of close circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the cancer department to check any theft or misbehaviour with the hospital staff, but cared little to buy some benches for the patients to sit on and wait for their turn to meet the doctor.
Even the washroom in the OPD (out patients department) has been lying closed for years.
The department has earmarked a special space with a roof of a fibre sheet for OPD patients and kept a few chairs in it, but there is no any fan in the enclosure. The few chairs kept there are also not sufficient for all the patients and their attendants visiting the OPD daily. An air-cooler meant to be kept there has been lying locked in another room of the department.
With the spread of cancer in the villages of the state, the number of patients coming to the hospital has been increasing day by day. "About 150 to 200 patients visit the OPD daily. Among them, about 15 to 20 cases are new. The hospital is emerging as one of the leading cancer hospitals in the area," said Dr HP Yadav, head of the department.
However, due to lack of proper seating arrangement, many patients, even those in an advanced stage of the disease, could be seen lying on the hard cemented floor of the hospital waiting for their turn in the OPD.
"Most basic facilities are missing in the OPD. There are only a limited number of chairs for the patients and their attendants to sit on and most of the people can be seen sitting or squatting on the floor waiting for their turn to meet the doctor or undergo any test. Some of the visitors have to sit on the small corridor walls of the hospital as well," said one Jagdev Singh (name changed), who accompanied his grandmother from Bathinda district.
Though a large number of people, including patients and their attendants, visit the OPD daily, the only nearby washroom is lying closed. In fact, the bathroom has never functioned since the OPD was started in the building.
"The bathroom is locked because the sewerage system linked to it has collapsed. The patients have to go to another department if they need to go to a washroom or toilet, " admitted a staff member in the department.
According to sources, the admission of cancer patients for chemotherapy is also a problem. The department has no its own ward for these patients. The patients are admitted to wards of departments of gyane, surgery and ENT. The presence of cancer patients in the wards of different departments also creates problems for both patients and the medical staff treating them.
"We had sent a proposal for a special 50-bed ward for the cancer department. Though the government had approved the proposal, yet it remains on paper only," said the sources.
About 8,000 cancer patients have reported to the oncology department of the hospital for treatment during the last three-and-a-half years.
"We are facing the shortage of funds for providing benches to patients. We have written to the government for to build a special cancer ward for indoor patients. The toilet/washroom is choked but I will look into the problem," said Dr HP Yadav. Dr Yadav, however, justified the installation of cameras in the department as they are "helpful in checking any mischief or theft and I am able to monitor the activities in department from my office."