Patients lie on the ground at the neurosurgery ward at RIMS, Ranchi, on Sunday. Picture by Prashant Mitra
Ranchi, June 19: No power, no water and not enough beds. Welcome to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), the state’s premier healthcare provider, where rain has played havoc in more ways than one.
An uprooted tree on the hospital campus snapped power at the institute from 4am to noon. The tree fell on a transmission line amid heavy rain. Though emergency surgeries were carried out with the help of generators, water supply was hit with taps running dry by 8am.
As water supply was only restored at 2pm, cleanliness was the first casualty with stinking toilets making life unbearable for patients.
Adding to the woes was the dearth of beds. As many as 35 patients could be seen undergoing treatment on the floor of the neurosurgery ward, while in the orthopaedic unit, the number of patients on the floor was a staggering 165.
A hospital employee at the registration counter added to the grim story by stating that power failure and poor battery back-up had meant a number of patients could not be registered, leaving relatives waiting in queues for hours.
Murhu resident Justin Soy was one of the patients who could not find a bed. “I fell from a tree last evening and was brought here with head injuries. Though a doctor has seen me and the nurses have provided medicines, I have not been able to get a bed so far,” he said
Similar was the complaint of Burdwan resident Tusar Kanti Ghosh, also admitted in the neurosurgery ward. “I sustained head injuries after I fell from my motorbike last night. Though I have been given medical care, I am still waiting for a bed,” he said.
Nurses on duty said there was a crisis, but there was little they could do.
“We are not responsible for the power failure. As far as treating patients on the floor is concerned, it is unavoidable, as we have limited number of beds. While there are 50 beds in the neurosurgery ward and 85 beds in the orthopaedic ward, there are 85 and 250 patients respectively in them. For us providing treatment is more important than providing beds,” a senior nurse said.
RIMS director Tulsi Mahto also admitted the disruption in water and power supply. “Power supply got affected after a tree fell on a transmission line. Though we managed all emergency operations, we had some problem with water supply,” he said.
He added that the shortage of beds was inevitable. “There are 1,100 beds in RIMS, while the number of patients undergoing treatment is around 1300. However, barring neourosurgery and orthopaedic, we did not have any problem in other wards where cases of malaria, diarrhoea and other monsoon related diseases are being treated,” he said.