Tiruchirapalli

Patients suffer as washrooms remain locked

Men and women are forced to use the same washroom at night as one of them is kept locked, says patient

At a time when footfall at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital is increasing day by day, patients complain that washrooms are ill-maintained causing discomfort and apprehensions over possible infections.

Speaking to The Hindu, patients in the new block complain of the toilets being locked at night. “Men and women are forced to use the same washroom at night as one of them is kept locked. Some staff keep them under lock and key and say it is a staff washroom. When the entire floor has only one washroom, what do we do?” questioned a patient.

On the ground floor, the washrooms, one each for men, women and persons with disabilities, are near the septic ward. These washrooms do not even have regular water supply, complain visitors. “If there is no water even in the middle of the day, what will happen at night? Who will take responsibility if we contract an infection?” asked another patient.

When questioned, a sanitary worker said they only followed orders from their supervisors. “We can only do what they say. If we are asked to lock the washroom and give them the keys, we have to do it. In the same way, what can we do if there is no water supply? They cite summer season as a reason for less water but if the hospital itself has no water, what can we do?” she asked.

According to the sanitary worker, water supply to the hospital has reduced drastically in recent times. “We are unable to wash the bathrooms due to short supply. Each block receives water only once at a specific time during the day. But the visitors are also to be blamed. They do not maintain cleanliness. Taps and latrines are broken,” she said.

The staffing pattern at the government hospital is to be blamed for lack of maintenance, said A. Govindaswamy, a former employee of the hospital. “During our time, everyone was a permanent staff. There was no outsourcing because of which we were all accountable. Now, young people who pass Class 10 come as assistants. There is also no supervision,” he said.

Dean S. Saradha, however, denied all such claims. “I have not received such complaints yet. If I do receive them, I will look into it. However, nothing has been brought to my knowledge,” she said.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 5:58:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/patients-suffer-as-washrooms-remain-locked/article27104288.ece

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