Video Producer: Maaz Hasan
Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam
Cameraperson: Aryan Maurya
Cracked and crumbling walls, RCC (Reinforced Concrete Cement) falling off the roofs, dampness, seepage and water leaks are scenes at north Delhi's Hindu Rao Hospital.
On 4 September, patients sat beside the staircase when I visited the Municipal Corporation of Delhi's hospital. Above them, a section of the ceiling had fallen off, revealing iron bars. Dirty water was oozing out of the drain, and trash could be everywhere.
The condition of the OPD (Outpatient Department) was no different. Upon entering, I could see stray dogs roaming around the whole area and even sleeping beside patients at the hospital.
Part of the ceiling has fallen off in the OPD registration counter area. Thankfully, no one was injured, as there is a significant risk, given that hundreds of people line up everyday for OPD registrations.
The dilapidated condition of the hospital, coupled with the lack of cleanliness, is troublesome for doctors and patients. On the condition of anonymity, a resident doctor told me, "The lack of basic infrastructure is a chronic problem at the Hindu Rao Hospital. Basic amenities such as drinking water and clean toilets are all unavailable. Moreover, the security of doctors is a concern, with several instances of violence reported at the hospital."
The resident doctor also narrated how a major accident could have happened at the hospital because of the buildings' poor conditions: "Some time ago, a part of the ceiling near the parking area collapsed, causing damage to a few cars and two-wheelers. Fortunately, no one was injured, but it underscores the dire condition of the hospital building."
The patients, too, weren't happy with the condition of the hospital. Apart from the infrastructural and hygiene issues, the patients highlight the shortage of medicines and unavailability of beds as some of the major issues at the hospital.
"Why did we come to this hospital? Only because we are poor. We would not have come to this hospital if we were rich enough. During the diagnosis, medicines prescribed by the doctors are unavailable here, and we have to buy them from outside, which costs around Rs 1,000-2,000. Expensive medicines are not available at the hospital pharmacy."Vibha, Patient's Relative
Another patient's relative told me there aren't enough beds at the hospital, because of which patients have no option but to lie on the floor.
Not just the patients and their relatives but doctors, too, have complained about these issues at the hospital, but the condition of the hospital seems to have stayed the same.
"We have been complaining about these issues for a long time. Even our HODs and administration have raised these issues with the MCD. But things have stayed the same. Some repair and construction work recently happened, but the overall condition remains poor."Resident Doctor, Hindu Rao Hospital
I discussed the issue with the medical superintendent, Dr Mukesh Kumar, but he refused to comment. He said the talks with the government are going on, and the matter will be resolved soon.
(The Quint has also reached out to MCD regarding the issues. Their response is awaited. The story will be updated once a response is received.)
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