The Jharkhand high court on Tuesday took cognisance of a Hindustan Times report highlighting the plight of patients at three premiere state-owned hospitals due to rain and the accompanying water-logging.
A division bench of chief justice Virender Singh and justice S Chandrashekhar issued notices to senior officials of the state government including the chief secretary, secretaries of health and building construction departments, the heads of the three hospitals and the deputy commissioners of Ranchi, Dhanbad and East Singhbhum districts, seeking their replies by August 31, the next date of hearing.
HT, in its August 23 edition, had highlighted how patients at Patliputra Medical College and Hospital (Dhanbad), Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (Ranchi) and Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Hospital (Jamshedpur) were at risk of bacterial and fungal infection due to the water-logging and seepage at the hospitals.
Many wards at PMCH are getting water-logged, with rainwater seeping into the gynaecology, ENT, paediatrics, surgery and orthopaedics wards from the ceiling. Over two dozen patients were shifted out of the surgery ward, while 30 more are still waiting to be shifted to safety. In the gynaecology ward, two patients have been accommodated on a single bed along with their infants; however the continuous seepage of water has wet the bed sheets on most of the beds and the patients are now forced to lie straight on the mattress.
The report also mentioned the poor condition of RIMS and MGMCH which too face water-logging problems raising the risk of the room becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
The bench asked the DCs to furnish detailed reports incorporating the problems of water logging, seepage and other allied difficulties caused by heavy downpour and the curative steps taken to mitigate these problems to bring normalcy in hospitals with hygiene and healthy atmosphere.
Noting the HT report in its order, the bench observed, “If this be the position, it is very sorry state of such main lifeline government hospitals of the state. We feel constrained to take cognisance of the news report… and direct the registry to diarise the same as public interest litigation.”