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Painful apathy at Hyderabad’s govt hospitals leaves 1 more patient dead

© Provided by The Rahnuma Daily

It seems Hyderabad’s hospital woes are not going away anytime soon. The city’s government-run hospitals, which have been reeling under multiple instances of apathy, negligence and poor infrastructure, saw two more alarming incidents come to light this week.

In the first incident, 25-year-old Krishna died as he was allegedly not provided oxygen in time by ward boys at the Government TB and Chest Hospital in Erragadda.

The relatives have alleged that the ward boys were specifically instructed, multiple times, to get a fresh oxygen tank for the patient on Monday, but refused to do so unless they were paid a bribe of Rs 150 for the task.

As the patient hailed from a poor family, the relatives said that they could not pay the ward boys their ‘commission’, which resulted in Krishna’s death.

“The ward boys threatened that the doctor would not attend to them if money was not given and the treatment would be delayed. Our family came here from a far-off place for treatment. It is not fair for the ward boys to demand bribe to provide treatment,” Sevya Naik, Krishna’s brother-in-law, told The New Indian Express.

According to reports, the family members staged a protest at the hospital, following which the two ward boys were suspended.

Hospital authorities have also set up a three-member team to probe into the incident.

Other reports suggest that this is a common phenomenon, as senior doctors leave the hospital around 2pm, and junior doctors are unable to exert their authority over the ward boys.

Speaking on condition of anonymity to TNM, a senior doctor from the state-run Gandhi hospital said, “Most of the work in government hospitals is done by nurses and ward boys. Doctors walk in, give instructions, and go away, as they have many patients to tend to. The ward boys understand this, and try to pocket anywhere from Rs 20 to Rs 200 to get anything done, because they are also paid a pittance. What happened is very unfortunate.”

Dr Narasimhulu, another senior doctor from Gandhi hospital says, “It is a government’s duty to provide basic health care to a patient. There are some basic formalities for which small amounts will be paid, but a receipt should be taken for all those payments. Anybody asking for money besides this is wrong, because they are paid a salary. In such situations, the patients have every right to file a complaint.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the city, the Osmania General Hospital witnessed a black out on Tuesday, that lasted for close to four hours

A major transformer breakdown at around 2pm caused the power outage. While one phase was restored in the evening, the other side of the hospital gradually plunged into darkness as the sun set.

Many reports detail how nurses and other hospital staff used torch lights and light from their phones, to check case sheets, and to attend to patients. It wasn’t until close to 7pm, that the power was finally restored.

This is also not the first such incident in the state.

Last year, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued a notice to the Telangana government over a reported power failure in Gandhi hospital, that resulted in the death of 21 patients.

According to the reports, the power supply at the hospital first tripped around 3pm on July 22 and thereafter the interruption continued at regular intervals. Even the back-up generators were of no use, as they were shut off during repair works.

However, the Telangana government later denied those charges.

“The state government has informed that the news report (regarding deaths due to power failure) was enquired into and was not found true. Though there was power outage on July 22 due to maintenance work undertaken by Electricity Board, but the cause of deaths of patients cannot be attributed to power failure in the said hospital,” Minister of State for Health Faggan Singh Kulaste said in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.

The latest outage at Osmania comes shortly after the death of five women at the government-run Niloufer Hospital in Hyderabad in a single day.

All C-section operations were halted at the hospital last month, as all the women had died after caesarean surgeries.

Read – One hospital, five new mothers – all dead: The unexplained C-section deaths in Hyderabad
Once the pride of the Nizam, Hyderabad’s iconic Osmania hospital now lies in shambles
Fire safety a low priority in Hyderabad’s hospitals? 10 centres face action for violating norms

Enanble Notification: NoTNM Marquee: No

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