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Plastic surgery wing needs a nose job

Nalanda Medical College and Hospital’s plastic surgery department is itself in need of a facelift.

In the absence of a building of its own, it sticks out like a sore thumb in the surgery department where it has been sharing space ever since both departments came up in 1979.

What’s worse, the plastic surgery department does not have its own operating theatre (OT) or intensive care unit (ICU). Its condition can be gauged from the fact that doctors carry their own instruments as those with the department are over 20 years old and unfit for use. Earlier, half a dozen surgeries used to be conducted a week here. It is now down to two or three, hospital sources said. Even these are conducted in the OTs of other departments.

When The Telegraph visited the department it wore a deserted look. All four beds were empty. A nurse there explained: “The beds are empty as nobody is admitted at the moment.” Surprisingly, there was not a single fan in the ward where patients are kept during treatment.

Several faculty posts are lying vacant for years. There is only one assistant professor, who also heads the department. Three doctors work as senior residents and they are in the hospital for over 20 years. The post of professor is vacant for several years. Not one student comes here for internship nor does the department have any postgraduate student. NMCH superintendent Santosh Kumar said, “The department’s appalling condition is due to its own carelessness. The hospital administration is ready to provide support whenever needed, be it purchase of new machines or tools.”

The head of plastic surgery department, Abhay Choudhary, blamed the health department for its ills. “You talk to the principal secretary, health. The health department’s lacklustre approach is to blame for all problems here. Several posts are vacant for years, but no steps have been taken to fill them up,” Choudhary said.

Principal secretary, health, Deepak Kumar, was unavailable for comment. Joint secretary Sanjay Kumar said: “The department would definitely look into the matter. The plastic surgery department should at least have its own OT.”

He said the department has chalked out a comprehensive plan for NMCH’s development, including development of infrastructure for each department according to the Medical Council of India guidelines with provision of OT and restrooms in every department. This could take some time, he said.