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What the horrid conditions at Bihar’s second largest hospital tell us about state’s health infrastructure

Image Credit: Prince/Avinash Kumar


What the horrid conditions at Bihar’s second largest hospital tell us about state’s health infrastructure

Bihar’s second largest health facility Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital has been flooded following incessant rainfall in the region. The water has also entered the Covid ward causing great hardships to the patients and affecting emergency services. In a video shared by news agency ANI, DMCH can be seen partially submerged in flood water.

Once touted as temple of medical learning, DMCH has lately been in news for all the wrong reasons. Following the second wave of covid pandemic, various media reports exposed the pathetic condition at the health facility.

Filled with garbage and waterlogged, the hospital premises are unhygienic with pigs and cows hanging around, news agency ANI reported last week. Residents of several districts including Samastipur, Madhubani and Saharsa depend on the DMCH but a visit to this medical college reminds one of hell, said the report.

Not even the DMCH medical superintendent Mani Bhushan Sharma’s office has been spared. In order to escape injury or get himself drenched in the filthy water, Sharma has to take the help of a guard and driver to reach his office.

Depicting the condition, a helpless nurse Neelma Kumari said that they have been facing the same since 27 years, while adding that the situation worsens during the monsoon. She further said that the frontline workers are forced to serve by putting their life at risk. DMCH Medical Superintendent, Dr Mani Bhusan Sharma said, “The situation is not new because this hospital is too old and situated in a low lying area. In the same situation, we treat patients and they go after recovering from here.” People of many districts like Samastipur, Madhubani, Saharsa are dependent on DMCH.

Doctor Ashutosh Kumar, who serves in the Covid ICU ward said, said doctors and nurses are at God’s mercy with high chances of infection from garbage and water-logging on the premises but they are helpless.

Another video report by narrated the horrid conditions covid patients have been subjected to. The video shows covid patients making their own food and suffering from scorching heat with no attendants to look after them.

Earlier, an India Today reported dated May 18 said that an ICU ward and 25 ventilators made available to the Darbhanga hospital under the PM Cares Fund last year remained unoperational. Following the report, the local administration sprung into action and restarted the setup. Speaking with the news portal, Mr Sharma said the ICU ward and 25 ventilators were made available to the hospital last year under the PM Cares Fund but it could not be operationalised due to “technical reasons”.

Refuting allegations that the condition of Darbhanga Medical College Hospital was appalling, State minister Sanjay Kumar Jha asserted the hospital had a state of the art building where COVID 19 patients were receiving the best possible treatment, which was being regularly monitored by the Chief Minister himself. Jha claimed that the ramshackle old DMCH building shown in the news channel reports was symptomatic of many years of misdeeds and misrule of the Congress.

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  1. Pingback: The 3 child policy: China's policy reversal a lesson for the Hindu right's population worries?

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