No entry for patients at KEM's ENT department

The refurbishing in progress for the last six months at Parel’s KEM Hospital is an ‘assault on the senses’ of patients, as the management keeps refusing cases at the ear, nose, and throat(ENT) department. Since the section’s operation theatres (OTs) were under renovation since monsoon due to leaky roofs, doctors say that the unit had to be temporarily shut down for around a month, before the department was shifted to a different division to conduct routine surgeries.

On the mend: Renovation in progress at KEM Hospital

“The overhaul will take at least another year, as new machines and other facilities would also be added. There were several delays in between, though we were shifted to the urology department, and the seminar room was converted into an OT where we now conduct around four to five surgeries a day,” said a physician from the ENT department.

Previously, the department used to perform around 12-14 operations a day. To make matters worse, emergency cases are notentertained after 2 pm. “Previously, we used to treat patients from all over the country. But, now with only one makeshift OT, we can’t minister to emergency patients 24x7 due to lack of proper facilities,” added the doctor.

On the other hand, the renal transplantation OT is used once aweek to conduct cochlear implantation. “We feel bad to turn away so many patients. Earlier, our waiting list would last up to 3 months, but now several patients are dropping out and approaching other hospitals owing to the huge backlog in our department,” the physician revealed.

Speaking to MiD DAY, Tanaji Choudhary, relative of a patient, who came for follow-up treatment at the hospital, said, “My mother underwent surgery here for her nasal cavity three months ago, though we were in the waiting list since March. We were informed that not more than four surgeries were being conducted in the ENT department, which was a major inconvenience for her. However, we chose to wait, as she had been receiving care at the hospital since long.”

Another 8-year-old patient, who underwent a tonsil-removal procedure, was fortunate to get treated on Friday. Requesting anonymity, a relative said, “As we were informed about the timings, we repeatedly visited the hospital in the morning over the last three weeks, before he finally underwent the procedure.” 

The other side
Acting dean of KEM Hospital Dr Shubhangi Parkar said, “Not only ENT, but cardiovascular and thoracic surgery (CVTS), and ophthalmic departments are undergoing renovation too. We are treating fewer patients due to this, but are left with no other option, as the overhauling is essential. Meanwhile, spare OTs are available to conduct surgeries. The delay in renovation work is due to the protracted monsoon season.”

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