The Telegraph
Friday , May 23 , 2014
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Horror sequel to healthcare
- After RIMS, sores of MGM hospital bared

Three out of four ACs do not work in the burns ward
The ICU is stifling owing to defunct ACs

The X-ray room feels better under lock and key
There is no water in the gynaecology and medicine wards

A surprise inspection by a Medical Council of India (MCI) team at MGM Medical College and Hospital in Jamshedpur on Thursday revealed that the government-run heal hub is on a par with its morbid cousin, the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi, where a similar exercise on May 15 had exposed what a sham healthcare services for the poor in the state is.

The MGM hospital, named after the Mahatma, is the cheapest treatment option for 500,000 patients from across Kolhan region and yet it shamelessly sullies every Gandhian ideal on which it was founded in 1962.

Sheer mismanagement greeted Dr S.K. Biswas of National Medical College, Calcutta, when he dropped in at the Sakchi-based hospital around 11am. Truant doctors, clueless nurses, missing ward boys, defunct medical equipment, dearth of basic amenities, hassled patient relatives, medicine stock anomalies — the list of negatives was as long as it could get during the three-hour inspection.

While Biswas grappled with these shockers, Binod Agarwal — a professor of LLRM Medical College, Meerut — confronted poor infrastructure at MGM Medical College in Dimna. The MCI, which is the statutory body for granting affiliations to medical colleges in the country, had okayed a seat boost from 50 to 100 at MGM in 2012. It is not clear whether the sanction will be revoked after Thursday’s shockers.

When the MCI inspector arrived at the hospital, only a few doctors were found attending to the 350-plus patients in the OPD. Superintendent S.K. Chowdhury, who holds dual charge as head of RIMS, was away in Ranchi. Ashok Kumar Singh, his deputy, accompanied Biswas who video-recorded the inspection.

The MCI inspector was baffled to see the way emergency patients are handled at MGM. Doctors were few, the registration process was in complete disarray and nurses could not say how many patients turn up at the emergency every day. Deputy superintendent Singh fumbled for answers when asked whether the hospital ran smoothly with such skeletal and clueless staff.

The MCI member was appalled to find stinking toilets in gynaecology, medicine and surgical wards. He also spotted patients hauling water from a ground floor tap because there was no supply in the gynaecology department.

More embarrassment awaited the MGM authorities when Biswas visited the ultrasound room. A few dozen patients were found waiting to be diagnosed by a single machine, which too worked at its own pace. The MCI inspector also found the X-ray chamber locked, the ICU stifling in the absence of temperature control, as most air-conditioners did not work. The burns ward was equally stuffy for similar reasons.

“How can burns patients be kept in a ward that lacks proper air-conditioning?” Biswas asked deputy superintendent Singh who could not offer a satisfying reply. “We have sent requisition for mechanics to fix the ACs at the earliest,” he was heard saying.

Biswas spent almost half an hour at the paediatric ward where he spoke to nurses, checked their roster and patient turnout and enquired about the stock of medicines. “It is appalling,” he muttered and nodded his head in disapproval while coming out.

The MCI inspector left the MGM premises without speaking to the media.

Deputy superintendent Singh wasn’t too happy to answer questions. “The inspection was a surprise for us, not a secret for you. It was carried out before you all,” he said.

Do you think the seat sanction to MGM should be revoked?


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