The Telegraph
Tuesday , February 5 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
CIMA Gallary

Double blow to patients

- Power, water play hide-and-seek at MGM surgical ward

Case #1: Surgery on the left hand of a 21-year-old JKS College student and accident victim had to be deferred for a day last week because there was no water in the surgical ward of MGM Medical College and Hospital

Case #2: An operation on the infected back of a 38-year-old patient was stopped midway on Monday because there was a power cut. The supply to the operating theatre (OT) could be restored only after an hour

These are not stray incidents, but reflect the chronic water and power crunch at the surgical ward of the state-run hospital in Sakchi.

If sources are to be believed, as many as four surgeries — both minor and major — had to be postponed for a later date last week because the ward on the second floor of the hospital had no water supply, which left around 80 patients in the lurch.

Interestingly, the ground floor of the building that houses the orthopaedic OT and the top floor eye and ENT wards do not face water woes. The second floor remains the stepchild for strange reasons.

Hospital officials claimed that the drinking water and sanitation department was responsible for the mess. “There is no problem with the water supply from Jusco. The problem is at our end. Lack of proper maintenance of pipelines, taps and the tank, which is the responsibility of the department, leads to this frequent crisis,” MGM superintendent S.S. Prasad sounded candid.

For disruption of power supply, he blamed the state power board. “We get uninterrupted power from Jusco. But, the equipment and cables are old and need replacement. So, there are local faults. We have pointed these things to the JSEB, which takes care of electrical maintenance at MGM, but to no avail,” he said.

Sources said on Monday, surgeries and allied work were affected for about an hour from 10.30am. The supply setback was caused by a “local fault”. The hospital authorities called in a JSEB electrician who took over 20 minutes to repair the fault.

Patamda resident Sunil Mukhi, whose elder brother was admitted to MGM for an appendicitis operation on Saturday, said they were aware of the problems in the surgical ward, but were helpless.

“The doctors have not given us a date for operation yet. We will see the situation for one or two days. If the problem persists, we may have to shift my brother to a private hospital. After all, life is precious than money,” he said.

JSEB official Ashok Kumar, who looks after maintenance of electrical equipment at MGM, agreed that wires were old and needed replacement. “Maybe, funds is a constraint,” he said. He did not clarify the source of funds though.

An official of the drinking water and sanitation department’s Jamshedpur circle, on the other hand, blamed pilferers for the water crisis. “Often the pipes are tapped by local hoodlums. This damages pipelines and affects supply,” he said, requesting anonymity.

Who do you blame for the state of affairs at MGM?