Picture this. Strewn untreated bio-medical waste, unhygienic toilets, stray animals roaming the campus. This is Guru Govind Singh Hospital in Patna City.
Till the building of Jaya Prakash Narayan All India Institute of Medical Sciences (JPNAIIMS) comes up, the super-speciality health hub, according to the Patna High Court’s directive, will function out of the 450-bed Guru Govind Singh Hospital.
However, the present state of affairs at the Patna City address has forced the first-year MBBS students of the JPNAIIMS and their course director to dread going there to take practical classes in some subjects in their second semester (after July). According to them, Guru Govind Singh Hospital does not meet the standards of JPNAIIMS. Sources said the sluggish pace of construction work at JPNAIIMS has given rise to such a possibility.
At present, students of JPNAIIMS are in the first semester of MBBS, so they have to take only theoretical classes of subjects like physiology and anatomy. But when they go to the second semester, the medicos would have to take theoretical as well as practical classes.
Second semester students also need to spend time in the outpatient department to gather case studies to learn their subject well. The second semester subjects include pathology, microbiology, pharmacology, preventive and social medicine and forensic medicine and toxicology. But Guru Govind Singh Hospital does not have proper infrastructure in departments like pathology.
When The Telegraph visited the pathology laboratory of Guru Govind Singh Hospital on March 8, it saw wrappers of injections and empty bottles of chemicals strewn on the floor, giving it the look of a storeroom.
According to the laboratory technician, Jagarnath Prasad, the laboratory conducts routine tests only. “More than 50 equipment required for special tests in a pathological laboratory are not present in our laboratory. How can our laboratory help the JPNAIIMS students I do not understand. The bathroom attached to the pathology laboratory is also in poor condition. Sweepers do not come regularly and so it is always unhygienic,” said Prasad.
Hospital superintendent Awadhesh Kumar Kashyap said: “We know that our pathology laboratory does not meet the standard of the JPNAIIMS. If its students are not satisfied, they can give us a list of equipment they would need. We can try to procure them for their convenience.” The Telegraph also found the other toilets of the hospital meant for the patients and their attendants extremely unhygienic and even one bathroom with no door. A bathroom for the nurses was found locked.
Chotu Yadav, 25, who had come to the hospital to get his broken left arm plastered, said: “I have come to this hospital earlier also to get a relative treated. The toilets were in similar condition then also. It was so unhygienic that I could not use them. This time round, I find no improvement in their condition.”
This correspondent also spotted bio-medical waste lying in various corners on the first floor of the hospital. Used syringes were lying in the corners of the hospital, exposing the patients to the risk of infection.
Some of the patients said stray animals enter the hospital because there is no boundary wall. “There is no boundary wall. So, often stray animals enter the hospital,” said Mala Devi, 45, a patient.
Putting across his arguments against the hospital being unsuitable for their students, JPNAIIMS director Dr G.K. Singh said: “We are hoping that the construction work of our hospital is completed soon. But if that does not happen, we would be forced to send our students to Guru Govind Singh Hospital. But I do not think that Guru Govind Singh Hospital can fulfil the requirements of JPNAIIMS students. First, the hospital is situated around 20km from JPNAIIMS. So, students would take around two hours to reach the hospital. Not only this, Guru Govind Singh Hospital does not even have a boundary wall. Troublemakers take advantage of that and enter the campus. Moreover, there is no proper infrastructure in place.”
JPNAIIMS students have faith that the construction work of their campus would be completed on time. But at the same time, they are worried that if that does not happen, they would be forced to go to Guru Govind Singh Hospital. “Our director has told us that the construction work of JPNAIIMS would be completed on time. But if the construction work gets delayed, we would have to go to Guru Govind Singh Hospital. I don’t think it can match up to the standards of JPNAIIMS. The hospital could not earn a name in the state. Then, how can it cater to the needs of JPNAIIMS students,” said Mohammad Hamza, a first-year MBBS student of JPNAIIMS.
Mohammad Imran Alam, his classmate, had somewhat similar opinion. “Compare the building of JPNAIIMS and that of Guru Govind Singh Hospital, you will get the answer. Guru Govind Singh Hospital cannot meet our expectations,” he said.