| Patients admitted with dengue symptoms hardly find a bed in Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital in Bhagalpur. Picture by Amit Kumar |
Bhagalpur, Oct. 26: Health minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey has taken strong note of mismanagement at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital in treating patients admitted with symptoms of dengue over the past three days.
Bhagalpur civil surgeon U.S. Choudhary said of 150 new cases reported since Tuesday, 63 have tested positive in the NS1 antigen test, a confirmatory dengue test.
However, attendants of several patients admitted to the hospital have alleged that the platelet count machine is faulty. Choubey, who visited Bhagalpur yesterday to inspect the health hub, admitted lapses in the treatment of dengue patients at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital (JLNMCH) and expressed his concern over the rapid spread of dengue in the silk city and its adjoining areas.
After his hour-long inspection of the hospital from 4pm, Choubey said he had instructed superintendent Binod Kumar to improve the health hub’s functioning or face punishment. “I have given an ultimatum to the hospital superintendent to improve the mismanagement. I was shocked to see the poor condition of the patients,” said Choubey, who represents Bhagalpur in the Assembly.
Attendants allege lack of hygiene and sanitation at the health hub and patients are kept on the floor when beds remain empty in the wards.
Choubey has sought explanation from the superintendent for keeping indoor patients in the hospital’s verandah when beds are empty. “I asked the superintendent to reply within 48 hours so that proper action could be taken against the persons responsible,” he said.
The authorities have been instructed to improve the work culture at the hospital and the doctors have been asked to take proper care of the dengue patients.
“The hospital would be under my observation and I will monitor the situation at all times,” the minister added.
However, after almost 24 hours of the minister’s inspection, The Telegraph found the hospital has not undertaken any cleanliness drive or initiatives to ensure prompt treatment. “It is a horrible experience to spend a night at the hospital. I am feeling unwell because of the foul stench emanating from the dirty wards,” said Kumud Prasad, a resident of Sultanganj.
Superintendent Binod Kumar refused comment on the “mismanagement” at the hospital. “Everything is normal here,” he said.
But discrepancies in the platelet count at the hospital and outside has also irked patients and their relatives. “The hospital found the platelet count of my patient 13,000 while a pathology test conducted outside the health hub found the platelet count to be 32,000,” said Prashant Kumar, whose relative is admitted at JLNMCH. The normal minimum platelet count is 1.5 lakh, sources said.