Bihar health brass raps Patna Medical College Hospital after docs on Covid-19 duty found absent
Bihar health department on Tuesday asked officials at the Patna Medical College Hospital (PMCH) to tone up its functioning after senior doctors were found absent from duty at the Covid-19 wards during a surprise inspection carried out on August 14.
A 100-bed Covid-19 ward was carved out of the hospital which has the capacity of around 2,300 beds and dates back to 1925. The dedicated Covid-19 ward was made functional last month.
Discrepancies in the duty chart and attendance sheet of doctors, anomalies in their stipulated and actual work duration, to the total absence of faculty members and medical professionals were some of the glaring lapses which the additional secretary, health, Kaushal Kishore referred to in his letter to the PMCH principal and the superintendent on Tuesday.
The letter followed a surprise inspection by Bihar’s principal secretary, health, Pratyaya Amrit, to the Covid-19 wards of the hospital on August 14.
The letter said the roster duty chart of doctors and nurses was not put on display and there were discrepancies in the name mentioned in duty chart and the attendance sheet. Kishore advised the administrators to ensure that the roster chart was strictly followed. On faculty members’ absence from duty, he asked the principal to review the situation and take action.
There were also issues with equipment like portable X-ray and ultrasonography machines for Covid-19 patients, besides arterial blood gas analyser in the intensive care unit. The superintendent could not give a convincing reply when asked about an attendant’s complaint that he had to buy insulin from the market for his patient, the letter said.
The government has already asked the hospital authorities to take full responsibility of medical treatment of a Covid-19 patient, including pre-diagnosed ailments (diabetes, cardiac conditions, etc.), while also having a diet chart for patients on each bed.
Earlier this month, the health department had directed its Covid care facilities to have dedicated teams of personnel to arrange for medicines required for patients or source them from suppliers rather than asking the attendants to get them.
The letter also referred to the fact that the 24x7 “May I Help You” booth was unmanned when Amrit visited the hospital late in the evening. Telephone calls to the hospital’s dedicated helpline number also went unanswered.
“We have addressed all concerns which our principal secretary had pointed out during his inspection,” said PMCH superintendent Dr Bimal Karak.
“We have made available some drugs for co-morbidity, as prescribed in our SOP (standard operating procedure) for Covid-19 patients, and displayed the list where the attendants sit. We are also making the “May I Help You” booth functional 24x7. We have also requisitioned services of 50 additional ward boys on a contract basis to which the principal secretary has agreed,” he said.
On the absence of doctors, Dr Karak said, “Assistant professors have now been deputed in each shift and instructions have been passed on to doctors not to leave their work station till their reliever comes.”