State of Doctors: Fear of Contracting TB Grips Darbhanga Hospital
“You will get scared after hearing about our work conditions. Doctors are undergoing TB treatment. They had come to become doctors but are leaving as patients instead.”
This is what a doctor working in Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital said when The Quint reached its premises for a ground report on the working conditions of doctors in India.
More than 140 children died due to acute encephalitis in Bihar’s Muzaffarnagar district. After the news made headlines, the state government and the doctors came under the radar. The Quint decided to find out about doctors’ working conditions.
For this, The Quint’s reporter went to several hospitals and met with junior doctors. What we found through these conversations it was plain shocking.
The doctors agreed to speak to us on the condition of anonymity:
“[There are] No gloves. When we do a surgery, operation theatre doesn’t have an AC. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. There is one AC for a big operation theatre. Two-three operation tables. Once you wear a gown, one cannot work because of the heat. You feel like you are going to faint. That causes delay in operating the patient. Such mental trauma and harassment ends up affecting our work. Working amid lack of facilities, in heat, how can one give proper attention to a patient? The unpleasant working conditions naturally give rise to negligence.”Doctor, Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital
Mental Trauma, Harassment & Fear for Life
The doctors complained about the terrible work conditions and how that comes in the way of their work -- pulling off 36-hour shifts in a weak, no paid leaves, poor state of resting rooms, one common toilet for patients and doctors. The doctors also complained about unsanitised operation theatres.
“In the medicine ward, you will find a TB patient, an HIV patient and also a patient with cancer. All of them in one room, lying next to each other. They are all vulnerable to catching infections from each other. We work in the same environment. You can see how dangerous that is. You will find so many doctors here who have undergone complete TB treatment.”Doctor, Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital
The doctors also complained about the hostels, the lack of facilities in research and inept library. How will they become better doctors and how will they treat their patients well?