Filthy wards, lack of protective gear, poor waste disposal, rampant theft and not even a generator or security guard tell a sorry tale
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
Guwahati, July 16: The Assam government’s claim to ensure “health for all” seems to have fallen flat at the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi Chest Hospital in the State’s capital city. Formerly known as the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi Memorial TB Hospital and Sanatorium, the hospital has literally turned into “health hazard for all” due to poor hygiene condition.
Sources told The Sentinel that things haven’t changed for the better at the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi Chest Hospital even after the Assam Human Rights Commission last year registered a suo moto case taking into consideration a report published in a leading newspaper on the death of 40 patients from tuberculosis (TB) because of inadequate medication and unhygienic condition in the hospital.
“Patients, doctors, nurses and other staff of the hospital are continuously spending their days in completely unhygienic condition due to poor biomedical waste disposal system and lack of adequate manpower and equipment to keep the entire hospital campus clean. While grasses are growing abundantly in and around different wards, the morgue where unidentified dead bodies are meant to be kept in proper manner has become inaccessible for patients’ attendants as well as the hospital authorities due to overgrowth of thickets,” the source said.
Further, sources said a number of health workers, including doctors and nurses, are working in an insecure atmosphere because of lack of protective equipment and gears like modern masks and gloves and adequate supply of disinfectants. The hospital plunges into darkness during load shedding as it does not even have the facility of an inverter or generator. While there is no ambulance service, repeated incidents of theft of mobile phones and other valuable items of patients and their attendants due to non-existence of a single security personnel has converted the hospital to an ‘inhospitable’ place for everyone.
Established in 1954, the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi Chest Hospital at Kalapahar was the first-of-its-kind in the State. The hospital used to get patients from all over the State during its early days, but the number of patients is now decreasing due to the lack of proper facilities and cabins, and chronic unhygienic condition.
Even though Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who held the same portfolio in the previous Congress regime, announced several times to renovate and modernize the hospital, these are yet to materialize.