Two of the four freezers at the Bathinda civil hospital mortuary are non-functional, while the building too needs maintenance. The capacity for now is six. There is no place for kin or attendants to sit, except two benches under trees nearby. Water leakage from the roof makes it vulnerable in the rains. Cleanliness is a casualty, as a garbage dump has developed there. Toilets are a nightmare.
“Even the health minister had paid a visit and assured of repairs, but nothing has happened,” said an employee. “In case we have more than six bodies, we either have to fit the extra body in one of two functional freezers, or bring ice blocks,” said another worker, seeking anonymity.
A proposal for a new mortuary was sent in December 2014 to the Punjab Health Systems Corporation. “The officers there asked us to repair the existing structure until the new one is constructed; but we couldn’t do that due to paucity of funds,” said an official, not willing to be named. “We are expecting our proposal for a new mortuary gets the nod soon,” said senior medical officer Satish Goyal.