Moth infestation at Nair hospital forces doctors to treat patients in corridors; dean says 'nothing alarming'
When the staff at one of the biggest BMC-run hospitals is literally sitting around swatting flies, you know you’re not in safe hands. Every night, the casualty ward of Nair hospital at Mumbai Central is, more or less, evacuated.
That sick feeling: The casualty ward of Nair Hospital lies abandoned as swarms of insects take over the lights
It was a member of BMC’s Tree Authority Committee, Niranjan Shetty, who discovered this state of affairs on Tuesday night when he took a friend, who had been bitten by a rat, to the hospital’s casualty ward. A dark and empty casualty ward greeted them; doctors were treating patients out in the corridor. Upon enquiry, he found that moths had taken over the ward, forcing the staff outside. The staff was candid enough to admit that the lights had been switched off to keep the winged irritants out.
BMC’s tree authority member Niranjan Shetty sounded the alarm after visiting the hospital this week
“I couldn’t believe my eyes. There were insects all over the casualty ward and the doctors were sitting outside. While they did treat my friend, how can a big hospital that sees a huge inflow of poor patients every day offer such pitiable facilities?” asked Shetty.
The windows of the ward are left open each night, with no protection net. When mid-day visited the hospital on Saturday, the casualty medical officer on duty called the pestilence a “natural calamity”. “The dean has been apprised of the situation. He is the only one authorised to take action and convey information on the issue.”
Dr Ramesh Bharmal, dean, said the problem is not alarming. “It’s not a major problem. I have informed the pest control officer and he will look into the matter soon. Despite the shortcoming, our doctors are continuing to see patients.”
Since the casualty ward is in a separate block, other patients haven’t been affected by the infestation. Shetty plans to file an official complaint on Monday with the dean and Director of Medical Education of BMC-run hospitals. “Whether it was a one-off incident or a regular feature is not the question. How can a BMC-run hospital, which caters to the poor, be casual with facilities? The administration may not take the issue seriously, but I will raise it even with the municipal commissioner, if needed,” said Shetty.