| The attendant of a patient uses a hand-held fan to beat the heat at Patna Medical College and Hospital on Thursday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
Wish speedy recovery to a patient at Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) and he or she might frown and look up, at the ceiling fan.
Patients here have been putting up with the machine’s tiring, creaky movements. At the orthopaedic section of Rajendra surgical ward, a wing of the hospital, Neha Kumari (17) from Paliganj inhaled hard, the pain from a gunshot injury that fractured her leg almost forgotten. “These fans are so slow. I can hardly breathe,” she said.
Mukund Kumar from Kadamkuan tried hard to comfort his 70-year-old mother, in pain after a fall left her with multiple fractures in her arm.“They moved her to a bed in the ward today, but the fan is so slow, I am using a hand-held fan,” says Mukund.
“We ourselves get drenched in sweat but my injured husband needs the fan more,” said Sheela Devi from Saran district. Complaining to the nurses is of no use. “They scold us if we do,” says another attendant.
Some nurses were huddled under a slow fan in one room. “It’s no better for us. The entire hospital is like this,” a nurse said.
PMCH superintendent Amar Kant Jha Amar’s phone was switched off all day. Sudhandhu Singh, a doctor, said the fans were not the hospital management’s responsibility. “A Patna Electricity Supply Unit sub-divisional officer and junior engineer look after them,” he said. Junior engineer Chandreshwar Ram said: “What else do you expect? Around 5,000 ceiling fans here are switched on in February and not switched off till October. We change the fans’ condensers when required. But the fans need rest too,” he said.