Most hostels of govt. medical colleges are cramped, lack basic amenities
Patients often complain of poor basic amenities at some government hospitals in the city. But worse is the condition of medical college hostels where undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) students are put up.
From problems of sanitation and inadequate number of rooms to poor quality of food and drinking water, it is an everyday struggle for city medicos.
At one of the hostels of Madras Medical College (MMC), morning hours are frenetic for a group of PG students. Their day begins with lining up buckets outside a bathroom in the hostel. There is one toilet and bathroom for 40 of them.
“There are nearly 2,500 PG students at MMC but just 150 have been provided with accommodation on campus. The rest live in rented premises elsewhere. Medical Council of India norms clearly state house surgeons and PG students should be accommodated on campus so they can take up patient care. They are supposed to be allotted individual rooms but here, each room is occupied by three or four students,” says a PG student.
While the number of UG and PG seats has increased, the hostel facilities remain the same, says another student.
“The ceiling leaks when it rains and the building itself is in dire need of repair,” says the MMC student.
Women PG students, often, are not provided accommodation on campus.
“There is just one hostel on the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (IOG) campus in Egmore. Many of us live in private hostels nearby. We pay between Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 6,000 for the room and shell out another Rs. 2,000 on food,” says a woman student.
MMC has no hostels for its women students. It accommodates women house surgeons in living quarters just above the outpatient department. “There is no security here. Sometimes, strangers simply walk into our hostel. We do not have a mess. Some bathroom doors are damaged and do not have proper locks,” says a house surgeon.
Food is also a major problem in many of these hostels. “Sanitation is poor in the mess. Food is prepared in an unhygienic method. We pay around Rs. 3,500 per month for food but most of us do not eat at the mess fearing amoebiasis,” a UG student said. Many say the canteens/mess should be run by self-help groups instead of private entities.
Lack of regular upkeep of rooms is another issue.
“Our hostel is seldom cleaned. There is water scarcity and no security in the hostel for women house surgeons,” said a house surgeon at Kilpauk Medical College Hospital.
P. Balakrishnan, State secretary of Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association, says the government must construct new hostel buildings and also set up family quarters for doctors pursuing super-specialty courses.
An official at MMC says plans are afoot to improve hostel facilities.
“A women’s hostel will come up on the premises of the old Central jail where the new MMC building has come up. This will provide accommodation to at least 400 students,” he says.