Rats gnawed and dined on the body parts of a corpse lying unattended at the casualty ward of the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial (MGM) Hospital on Tuesday night.
Nagendra Hajjam (45), a resident of Dhatkidih village of Seraikela-Kharsawan district, was wheeled in to the hospital on Tuesday evening after a vehicle hit him, and died around midnight. The body was left in the emergency ward overnight. In the morning, his family members were shocked to find Hajjam’s middle finger and left eyebrow were bitten away.
Hajjam’s brother Manoj Ram said relatives of other patients in the ward told him rats were running over his brother's body and the entire ward was infested with rodents.
MGM Hospital is the only state-run medical college hospital in Kolhan and caters to the medicinal needs of the poor in the three southern districts—namely East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum and Seraikela-Kharswan. Poor staff strength, inferior infrastructure and weak-willed authorities have failed the hospital.
Hospital superintendent Dr RY Choudhary admitted he didn't have any cure for rodent menace and was helpless.
The superintendent said: “Dead bodies are sent to morgue at MGM College for safety. Nagendra died on Tuesday midnight and his body was supposed to be transferred to morgue on Wednesday morning, unfortunately, rats ate his body parts before shifting."
"Big private hospitals are also facing the same problem," he said.
Rodents have been running amok in the hospital for long, chewing away parts of the hospital's digital photocopier, air conditioner, and scan machine. They have also sunk teeth into medicines, saline bottles and injections.
Dr Choudhary said the hospital administration requires Rs 18 to Rs 20 lakh annually for controlling rat, termite and mosquitoes. The hospital wrote twice to the health department for fund, but hadn’t got it yet, he said.
Ex-chief secretary Sajal Chakraverty, during his visit to the hospital a fortnight ago, had expressed his anguish over rodents pelting across the emergency ward, and reported it to the government.