Amid Corona, govt must heed patients' plaints

Published: Mar 20, 2020, 05:13 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

A clean environment, smooth processes, good food but most of all, cleanliness and consideration is the way to go

Bhavika Gundecha with her all-clear certificate outside Kasturba Hospital. Pic/Ashish Raje
Bhavika Gundecha with her all-clear certificate outside Kasturba Hospital. Pic/Ashish Raje

Among the many sportspersons altering their schedules was a tennis player who returned from Spain on Monday after a 15-day training in lawn tennis, having cut it short by 25 days due to the virus scare. She was first taken to SevenHills hospital with some other travellers. She then visited Kasturba Hospital where she allegedly waited from 11 am to 6 pm for the tests. She was sent to the screening ward at 6.45 pm.

She claimed that she was given a bed that had red ants all over and was given a rude answer when she complained to staff. Then another patient was brought into the ward despite protests, she stated. The patient was shifted later. She claims that the conditions were jail-like with a piece of bread and milk given for breakfast. Her version was disputed by hospital officials who have pointed out the high praise for facilities.

Whatever be the truth of the story, officials can at the very least look into complaints by people. Even though these may be false as they claim, there should be continued efforts to improve the experience for people. If screening is taking very long, we can see how best to cut it. At least make a start by trying to cut an hour or two.

Meanwhile, continued efforts to upscale care in terms of hygiene and services at these centres should be the aim.

While one certainly understands the huge challenges our hospitals and in fact entire systems face when it comes to medical care at a time like this, basic hygiene should be the absolute priority so that people are not put off or intimidated by the prospect of staying there.

A clean environment, smooth processes, good food but most of all, cleanliness and consideration is the way to go. If it is happening in our government facilities more power to that. If not, then let us put that in place right away.

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