The decision to keep internal doors closed in several buildings in Sassoon General Hospital is resulting in chaos.
The staff are complaining that as door number two at the CT scan and MRI department is closed in the evening and does not open till the next morning, nurses are compelled to take a 300-metre walk in the open air with a newborn baby in their arms while shifting the infants from the labour room to the paediatric department though it is located just behind the closed door.
According to the staff, while carrying babies they cross paths with ward boys moving dead bodies on stretchers or accident victims.
“If the newborn is premature, then we have to admit it immediately in the neo-natal ICU. They need delicate handling and therefore it’s risky for them to be exposed to the open air for such a long duration,” said an experienced nurse from the neo-natal ICU.
The nurse, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said relatives and parents of newborns constantly monitored the nurses and held them responsible if a baby’s health deteriorated in the time it takes to walk the distance from the labour room in the main building to the paediatric ward.
No getting across
Sarva Majdoor Sanghatana president Dinesh Kuchekar said his association organised a relay hunger strike recently to demand that the doors be opened as it would be a relief to patients. “There are three gates in the hospital and only one is opened. Officials say it is for security reasons,” Kuchekar said. He added that the hospital officials told his association that as CCTV cameras had not been put up at the gates they could not be opened. “Despite getting CCTV cameras a week ago, the hospital is yet to put these up. The hospital has 40 guards manning the parking lot. They should deploy some at the gates instead of keeping these closed,” Kuchekar said.