DEHRADUN: The biggest government hospital in the Garhwal region, Dehradun’s Government Doon Medical College Hospital (GDMCH), has kept its antenatal and prenatal care wards shut for almost five months now as they do not have an electricity connection.
The result: Hordes of pregnant women and new mothers cradling infants in their arms are lying on the corridor in biting cold or have made lawns of the institution their temporary home.
The wards, which were closed for renovation in August, have not been opened yet. Hospital administration told TOI on Friday that patients were not being admitted to the wards as the electrical wiring has been damaged.
Medical superintendent of GDMCH, Dr. K K Tamta, said, “We have informed top officials regarding the requirement of funds to get the wiring replaced in the wards. The wards also need to be whitewashed. We have given an estimate of Rs 5 lakh to the principal of the medical college.”
The principal of the medical college Dr. Pradeep Bharti Gupta said that since the amount sought is “high”, a clearance is required from senior officials of the medical education department. “We have forwarded the proposal for clearance,” Gupta said, adding that despite best efforts to accommodate patients, norms of the Medical Council of India (MCI) limit the number of beds in a medical college hospital’s maternity ward. “We are already catering to patients beyond our capacity,” he said.
Director of Uttarakhand medical education department, Dr. Ashutosh Sayana, however, said that no clearance was required from the department to grant the amount. “I’m shocked that electricity repair work has not been carried out till now. No clearance is required from us to sanction this amount. I will make sure that the work is done on priority.”
While the authorities are busy passing the buck, patients and their families continue to suffer. “My wife is in labor, but the hospital staff told me that there she can’t be accommodated inside,” said Prabhat Kumar, a resident of Chukkhu Mohalla, while setting up a makeshift bed in the lawn for his wife.
Earlier this week, the state women’s rights commission had found that the women’s wing of GDMCH did not have adequate beds or ventilators. They had then in an unprecedented step, appealed to the public to help the hospital.