Sadar hospital in Chatra. Picture by Vishvendu Jaipuriar
Hazaribagh, Dec. 26: Health advisory: patients visiting Chatra sadar hospital are advised to carry their own stethoscope.
The ill equipped hospital in the Maoist-hit district is struggling to save its skeletal resources, which are being stolen strangely by patients’ relatives.
Sources in the district civil surgeon’s office said the number of thefts was on the rise. Since the second week of November, the hospital, which also houses the civil surgeon’s office, had lost as many as 15 stethoscopes, a blood pressure monitor, 10 blankets and a 100-odd CFL bulbs, sources added.
Doctors, too, admitted that a handful of stethoscopes and a blood pressure monitor had vanished within a month.
The buzz is that the kin of patients quietly pick up the tools when unsuspecting doctors step out of their chambers on daily rounds of the hospital wards.
Responding to the menace, civil surgeon Binod Oraon gave clear instructions to the doctors and other staff last week to take extra precaution.
Oraon said that he had asked the 10 doctors posted at the hospital not to leave behind any equipment on their tables when venturing out of their chambers.
“I have instructed the doctors to keep their instruments inside the almirahs,” he said. When asked about details of the stolen items, he added, “I can only say that CFL bulbs are considered the easiest target by the thieves.”
Oraon admitted that patients’ kin were to blame for the missing bulbs, blankets and stethoscopes.
However, he claimed to have not received any information about the theft of blood pressure monitor.
Apart from doctors, the 30-bed hospital has a staff of 20, including nurses.
Members of the staff said that critical patients, who first came to the health centre, were either referred to Ranchi or Hazaribagh sadar hospital.
According to them, relatives of patients and, at times, outsiders enter the campus looking for an opportunity to sneak out with stolen goods when doctors and other staff are not around.
A doctor, who did not want to be named, rued that the staff members were irresponsible.
“They should take care of hospital property while on duty. It is not our job to diagnose patients and then guard our equipment. We are now bringing our own stethoscopes,” he added.
A staff member argued doctors were guilty of walking away after check-up without giving a careful look at what was left lying on their tables.
“As few items go missing in regular intervals, no complaints have been lodged with the police yet,” he added.
The culprits surely won’t mind the hush-up, having mastered the art of rubbing salt into a hospital’s wounds.