People cover their noses to block the stench near the surgical ward of MGM Medical College and Hospital on Sunday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
MGM Medical College and Hospital is reeling under the stench of the dead, again.
An unclaimed body at the surgical ward of the hospital offered a déjà vu to the stinker of last week. An octogenarian male patient, admitted nearly 20 days ago, died on Saturday morning. But till Sunday, the only step that the hospital administration had taken was to shift the body from the bed to the adjoining veranda, putting at stake the patients’ health yet again.
On September 5, The Telegraph reported a similar incident — Body blow to headless hospital — when another unclaimed corpse was not removed to the morgue in the absence of a superintendent empowered to take the decision.
On Sunday’s incident, acting superintendent of MGM Ashok Kumar Singh cited Sunday and absent cleaning staff as reasons.
“Also, we can’t remove the body immediately due to several reasons, including the lack of a proper morgue at the hospital,” he added.
Hospital administration and patients pin the blame of unclaimed bodies on NGOs who pick up patients from the streets, get them admitted to the state-run hospital and don’t look back.
“I have been admitted here for the past three years and have seen how patients have to suffer due to NGOs, who dump a stray patient and disappear,” Raja Khan, who is undergoing treatment for his burns at the surgical ward, said.
Khan added that the NGOs should provide attendants for patients for the sake of their hygiene. “Such patients relieve themselves on the beds and there is no one to clean up the mess.”
According to sources, every month the NGOs bring five to six patients. They give fake contact numbers to doctors on emergency duty.
Manoj Kumar Mishra, president of NGO Jharkhand Human Rights Conference, said they do not have infrastructure to provide attendants.
“The hospital has sweepers who can double up as attendants for such patients,” added Mishra.
Singh refused to concede to Mishra’s demand. “We can’t ask for the services of sweepers as attendants as this is not mentioned in their contract. What we can do at the most is refuse to admit patients without attendants,” added Singh.