Limited water at Sassoon hosp affects patients and relatives

Aug 23, 2012, 07:24 IST | Anup Satphale

Relatives of patients claim they have to bring buckets from home to store water; crisis also hits post-mortems

Patients at the Sassoon hospital seem to be facing a difficult time as they are forced to manage their daily functions with a limited amount of water while undergoing treatment.

With the health and well being of their relatives in mind, attendants of patients admitted in the hospital claim that the toilets in the hospital are not as clean, the wards are mopped only once a day and they have to store water in the wards for general use.

In the pipeline: The civic body plans to install a valve on the feeder line, which will allow uninterrupted water supply to Sassoon Hospital. File Pic

The post-mortem room at the hospital is also affected and very little water is being used while conducting post-mortems. This has also affected the usual timing that the hospital has been following with regard to such operations on cadavers.

Sources claim that no post-mortems are conducted during hours of water cuts. Also, patients and their attendants have been storing water is buckets, some brought from their own homes, and bottles for drinking and general use.

Water is released to all wards in the hospital twice a day, which is from 6 am to 2 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm. Patients or their attendants are left with no choice but to store water for use through the day as well as to stock up for the night.

Sharing her experience, Rupali (name changed on request) said, “My sister is in the ICU, and there is no water for patients and their attendants. We have to store drinking water, water for washing and other purposes. Patients in general wards are also facing this problem.”

Rupali, who is a nurse in a Mumbai hospital, added that the water shortage is also affecting the number of times the wards are mopped.

“Wards should be cleaned at least twice a day, but it is being done only once a day here,” she said. A ward boy from Sassoon hospital said on condition of anonymity that they cannot clean up without adequate water. “We can sweep twice, but mopping is done only once in the morning since it requires lots of water,” he said.

With around 60 patients in each ward and around the same number of attendants using the bathrooms, the water they do store is inadequate. Also, many wards do not have facility to store water.

“We store water in bottles and many patients have brought buckets from their homes so that they can store water. I store water in bottles, but I have to keep those bottles used for use in the toilet near the bed, which is unhygienic,” said K Sandip, who visits his father who is admitted in the hospital.

His mother stays with his father al the time. She said, “I go to a relative’s house for a bath, but not every patient in the hospital has a relative in the city.”

Source from the PMC’s water department claim that the problem lies with the hospital itself as it does not have adequate water storage capacity as compared to other hospitals in the vicinity.

The other side
“The PMC releases water at specific timings. In the first stage, we store water in the water tank on the ground and then uplift it to an overhead tank, from where it is circulated to the entire hospital. Water supply timing is specific and some water is reserved for the next day,” said Ajay Chandanwala, dean BJ Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital.  Sassoon General hospital’s press committee it has written to the civic body regarding the matter. Based on the request, the PMC’s water supply department have been ensuring water supply to the hospital is regular. A committee member said that the civic body would look into the matter. When contacted, Aniruddha Pavaskar, executive engineer of the PMC water supply department said, “We plan to install a valve on the pipeline feeding the hospital, which will allow uninterrupted water supply. Dr S B Punpale, head of forensic science department refuted charges that the water issue is affecting post-mortems. He said, “We cannot stop conducting post-mortems and perform several in the day. But less water causes cleanliness problem.” 

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