Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital, also known as DMCH was started as a Temple Medical School in 1925 and was upgraded into a college in 1946. It has the largest campus in the state. Entering hospital, the most notable feature was the derelict surgical building of DMCH. With patients admitted in each room, relatives and acquaintances looked horrified.
Surgical building in shambles:
DMCH surgical building is functional despite the fact that it was declared as unsafe and unfit for any working way back in 2015 by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
The executive engineer of the construction department said, “A team from the Patna headquarters had reviewed the condition of the surgical building a fortnight ago and found a G-3 defect. This means it is unfit and unsafe to live in. We don’t know under what circumstances the hospital made the building functional. The rods of the building are eroded, the beams have cracks and the pillars are in a bad shape.” But after that three years have passed out still there’s no new surgical building.
With several discrepancies, the renowned district hospital of Darbhanga is failing on basic infrastructure with most frightful place remains the surgical building. It has more than 70 surgical wards, 10 operation theatres with hundreds of people including attendants, patients coming in and out for treatment purpose.
The District hospital w/o burn unit:
On the ground floor of the surgical building, lies the burn unit with doors shut since a decade. According to hospital staffs, the patient with burn injuries are treated with primary first aid and if serious then doctors attend. Those with less than 40 % injuries are given first aid and referred to other centers but more critical patients are directly referred to other hospitals. The hospital is devoid of a specialist doctor to treat burn patients.
In 1982, a 12-bed burn unit was commissioned on the ground floor of the hospital with joint efforts by the state government and the Darbhanga Raj (royals) to cure burn patients hailing from Darbhanga and its adjoining areas.
Improper Sanitation, Non-availability of Medicines:
Patients strive hard to get prescribed medicines for treatment as they remain unavailable inside hospital premises. On the wall of the hospital, list of indoor medicines remain scripted but their availability is fictional.
When it comes to sanitation, the hospital is dumping ground of waste. The septic tank has a big leakage just beside ward of patients. Visitors of patients freshen up and take bath in open, toilets remain in overflowing condition, hospital bed sheet are not changed periodically, remains the day to day grievance. To serve food to patients, food containers with rice and dal loaded on a rusted trolley is rolled from the ground floor to the third floor with a long queue of their relatives.
Apart from these challenges, several other hardships are faced- the absence of digital X-ray machine-canteen-mobile facilities (wheelchair) for patients.
“I came here to treat my mother’s stomach ailment but I was frightened to see the condition of the main building of the DMCH in which he’s kept. Everywhere there are cracks in building as it may fall anytime”, said Mohammad Shakir, who came from Madhubani. He was miffed at government’s late response on tackling worsening infrastructure of the DMCH. He further asks, “The government has started making a new building but don’t you think it’s too late?”
Vikas Kumar of Saharsa district complained of absenteeism of doctors. He said, “My mother is admitted for treatment in orthopedics department but since a week but not a single doctor has visited her and so there is no routine checkup. I am failing to understand what I shall do further.”
As per a report of The Telegraph, the anti-retroviral therapy (ART) center at DMCH had an acute water crisis. Shankar Dayal Singh, a counselor posted there said they have written to the DMCH administration but no action had been taken yet. “There’re taps in the bathrooms but there is no water in them,” Singh said.
On condition of anonymity, a security official expressed his concern and said, “As a government hospital, the facilities provided are insufficient and if it is opted for treatment, it will be out of compulsion due to bad economic condition. “Sarkaar fund toh deti hai par sudhaar nahi dikhta, allegedly said the official.
Few steps in the context of DMCH are positive such as- construction of a new surgical building just beside the old one, last year state health minister Mangal Pandey inaugurated a CT scan machine and MRI center, to be operated by Medanta at Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital.
There’s no dearth of the fund, health budget too is not skewed but its percolation in the management of the hospital doesn’t reflect on the ground. In an era of making statues, renovation of DMCH is too late and probably not a priority for ‘Babus of Susashan’. As a say in English goes—where there is a will, there is a way; equally true is our contention—“where there is no will, there are alibis and subterfuge, albeit in the form of elaborate schemes.”