Patients worried over KB Bhabha Hospital's pharmacy's restricted timings

Updated: Oct 26, 2017, 09:47 IST | Shailesh Bhatia

The unit runs from 9 am to 9 pm and remains closed on weekends and public holidays

The decision of KB Bhabha Hospital to discontinue the practice of keeping its pharmacy open 24/7 has become a matter of concern for the 200 odd patients who visit the hospital after the unit closes. However, the authorities are of the opinion that lack of staff makes it difficult for them to run the pharmacy at night, on weekends and holidays.

The pharmacy is flooded with patients during the day time
The pharmacy is flooded with patients during the day time

According to sources, the municipal hospitals of the city, which cater to the need of nearly 1,000 patients on a daily basis, has accepted the demands of the workers' union that pharmacists should not be made to work for night shifts, during weekends and public holidays.

The hospital pharmacy remains closed at night, on weekends and public holidays
The hospital pharmacy remains closed at night, on weekends and public holidays

It started six months back
Speaking about the issue, Arif Ansari, 25, an auto designer, said that the problem started nearly six months back. Subsequently, from October 13, the units have been working from 9 am to 9 pm and remain closed on weekends.

"Just a week ago, when I went to the hospital with high fever and stomach pain, the on-duty doctor administered an injection, but asked me to get the medicines from a private chemist or come the following morning. This is not the way hospital emergency units function. If I had the money to buy the medicines, then I would not have gone to a municipal hospital," he said.

When contacted, Dr Pradeep Jadhav, medical superintendent of Bhabha Hospital, said, "There is not enough staff to keep the pharmacy open 24/7. One of the employees has left and another one is on maternity leave. We are making arrangements to get more people."

More staff to be appointed
Meanwhile, Sunil M Dhamane, assistant municipal commissioner, said he was aware of the problems patients were facing and that adequate steps were being taken to appoint more people at the pharmacy.

Social activist and local resident, Aftab Siddique, who has been fighting for the cause, said that the pharmacy issue was just the tip of the iceberg, as the hospital had other major problems. "The hospital needs to supply vital medicines, especially those for Malaria and blood pressure, properly. In a joint meeting with the local bodies and hospital staff held on Wednesday, we pointed out that the hospital should have a designated barber, as it's the primary requirement for those suffering from head injuries. Currently, the ward boys do the job."

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