The ceiling of a newly constructed operating theatre (OT) at Patna Medical College and Hospital caved in last Friday even before a single surgery was conducted.
A senior doctor of the health hub, who did not want his identity to be disclosed, confirmed that a portion of the ceiling collapsed in the orthopaedic department’s new OT-5. The operating light has also been damaged in the ceiling collapse.
Nobody was injured as the new facility is not yet functional and the hospital authorities are buying equipment. The OT’s construction started at the end of 2011 and it was complete in August last year.
For the past five months, the OT is opened once a day for clean-up.
The senior doctor said: “A part of the ceiling of the newly constructed operating theatre from which the operating light was hanging has collapsed. The operating light has also been damaged. Imagine what could have happened if the operating light had fallen during some surgery. It would have been a major accident and the patient would have been badly hurt.”
When The Telegraph contacted hospital superintendent O.P. Choudhary about the incident, he claimed ignorance. “I have not been informed about any such incident,” he said. On the funds utilised for the construction of the operating theatre, he added: “Right now I am unable to recall how much funds went in to build the OT.”
The principal secretary, health, Vyasji, also could not shed any light.
Sources, however, said Rs 1 crore was spent on the construction of the OT. Around Rs 2.64 crore has been provided to the authorities for buying equipment for the facility.
Alleging substandard material was used for building the OT, the senior doctor said officials of the health department and the hospital superintendent were equally to blame for the ceiling collapse.
He said: “It seems the materials used for the construction was of very bad quality. How can a new OT develop this kind of problem when it is not even in use? This incident raises questions on the work of the contractor who was given the job. The officials of the health department and the hospital superintendent are equally responsible. Material of such bad quality was used and they don’t even know about it, it’s not possible.”
Apart from the new OT, a big portion of the ceiling of the room outside the facility has also developed cracks. Patients are admitted in this room.