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Patients complain of overcrowding, lack of facilities at Doon hospital

Overcrowding is just one of the problems patients face at the GDMCH. Lack of cleanliness, inadequate facilities and rude behaviour of the staff are other problems patients complain about at the hospital.

Updated: Sep 25, 2018 05:48:27

By Nitika Kakkar

According to Government Doon Medical College Hospital records, 7,97,691 patients visited the OPD for treatment from April 2017 to March 2018, while 46,261 patients were admitted in the hospital. (HT Photo)

When Shyama from Paonta Sahib took her 10-month pregnant daughter-in-law Kusum for delivery to the Government Doon Medical College Hospital (GDMCH), she was left unattended for almost 24 hours.

“She (Kusum) has not been given a bed. We both slept on the floor of the hospital last night,” said Shyama, adding that entire corridor at the hospital was full of women and their relatives during the night.

Overcrowding is just one of the problems patients face at the GDMCH. Lack of cleanliness, inadequate facilities and rude behaviour of the staff are other problems patients complain about at the hospital.

Staff working at the hospital agree with the problem of overcrowding. “We admit a patient here only if she agrees to share her bed with another patient. We don’t have enough beds, but patients keep pouring in,” said a staff member.



A patient visiting the hospital on the condition of anonymity said, “The sanitation workers here demand money from the patients. They say, if we give them Rs 200-300, they will get us a bed for the patient.”

Patients also complain about the unavailability of doctors in the out-patient department (OPD) of the hospital. “There is no clarity as to which doctor is available on what days in the OPD. It becomes very difficult as we have to enquire from 10 different places and then we get to know the doctor is not even in today,” said Rajesh Kumar, who came from Tehri.

Lack of cleanliness is another problem at the hospital. “The toilets here are filthy. I don’t even feel like going there. Even the wards are not very clean,” said Radha, a 38-year-old woman.

Patients from all over the state and outside come to the GDMCH for treatment. According to the hospital records, 7,97,691 patients visited the OPD for treatment from April 2017 to March 2018, while 46,261 patients were admitted in the hospital.

Officials said that the situation at the hospital deteriorated after it was attached to the Government Doon Medical College in 2016. Prior to that, Doon Hospital was a district hospital.

“When it was a district hospital, half of the earnings used to go in the upkeep of the hospital and the other half used to go in the government coffers. After being attached to the medical college, the entire amount goes to the government and a direct effect can be seen on the hospital,” said Dr KK Tamta, the chief medical superintendent of the hospital.

“Many machines here are running beyond the stipulated life. They cannot be replaced due to the lack of funds. Earlier, the doctors used to be available in OPD six days a week. Now, they also have to give lectures, so they can’t work and teach at the same time. This also made a huge difference,” Tamta said.

Even though Coronation Hospital and Government Hospital at Premnagar are also functioning in the district, most patients come to the GDMCH.

“Firstly, Doon Hospital is known the state over and is the biggest hospital in the Garhwal region, so most people come here for treatment. It is also located in the heart of the city and there are many public modes of transport available to reach here,” said a health department official, on the condition of anonymity.

“Secondly, the other two hospitals do not have the required number of staff as well. Many facilities are also missing here. At the end of the day, it is the patient who is suffering,” the official added.

First Published: Sep 25, 2018 05:48:27

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