| A nurse attends to a patient at Patna Medical College and Hospital on Sunday. Picture by Ashok Sinha |
Government hospitals in Patna maintain a duty roster to ensure availability of sufficient doctors on Sundays but few take it seriously.
The Telegraph found out the fact when it visited Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) and Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH) on Sunday. Very few doctors had turned up for duty.
Prabhu, a patient from Mirzapur, who was admitted to the F ward of Rajendra Surgical Block of PMCH, found no one to attend to him when his saline water got exhausted. It was also the time to remove the needle from his hand. Therefore, blood started oozing out from his hand.
Only after this correspondent asked a senior nurse to look into the problem, she came and replaced the saline water bottle.
The nurse said: “It’s not possible for nurses to look after all the problems. We can only do certain things for patients but we can’t replace doctors. The doctors have not visited this ward yet. However, this has become a regular practice on Sundays. The doctors of this health hub treat Sundays as holidays. Though they take out some time to visit the emergency ward, they hardly come to other wards.”
Apart from doctors, nurses were also not present in the ward at that time.
Prabhu’s father, Vinod Kumar, was disappointed and angry. “I don’t know how to remove the saline water. I was feeling helpless. The doctors have not visited the ward yet. Nurses are doing rounds after prolonged hours. Forget doctors, I spotted very few nurses today (Sunday) in the wards,” he said.
Another patient of the same ward, Suresh Shaw, who suffered injuries during an accident, also complained that doctors had not attended to him since Sunday morning. “I have 23 stitches on my head. No doctor or nurse has attended to me today,” he said.
Chandeshwar Verma, an attendant of a patient, said a junior doctor had visited the ward in the morning but not a single senior doctor.
The condition of NMCH was also similar. Jyoti Devi, an attendant in the gynaecology ward, said her mother-in-law, who got her uterus surgery done a few days back, was in pain but did not get assistance from doctors or nurses.
“The tube of the catheter was somehow removed. The nurse on duty asked me to do the needful though I pleaded that it would cause me infection as I was not wearing gloves,” she complained.
PMCH superintendent Lakhendra Prasad couldn’t be contacted. NMCH superintendent Santosh Kumar said: “Whenever there is some problem in any ward, the nurses immediately inform the doctors present in the emergency wing and they reach the ward immediately.”