WINTER IS adding to the miseries of the patients and their attendants who are forced to sleep in the open at PGIMER.
On Saturday night, when Chandigarh Newsline paid a visit to the hospital, it found patients and attendants sleeping in the open in different parts of the hospital. While most of the attendants were found sleeping on the pavement close to the Advance Trauma Centre (ATC), many others were staying put at the Gol market.
Maneesh, a patient from Himachal Pradesh, lay on a stretcher below a tree near the Gol market. He said that because of the need to visit the doctors here frequently, he had to stay back at PGIMER. He is undergoing treatment at the Department of Orthopedics and rods were fixed in his right leg after he met with an accident last year at his home.
For the last few months, Maneesh has been sleeping out in the open. Due to increase in the cold in the last 15 days, he is unable to sleep. “Cold is not under my control. I can’t do anything,” he told Chandigarh Newsline. “I have to manage like this only, because there is no other option.”
He said he doesn’t have money to pay for a sarai, so he chose to stay out in the open. “I have two blankets to save myself from the cold,” said Maneesh.
Another patient, Mahinder from Bihar, says he didn’t opt for night shelter facility, because the employees there ask for signatures from doctors. “A doctor from ortho department says that you need to go to surgery department and you will get a signature,” he said. “Rather than going from one department to other, I thought it is good to sleep here.”
The attendants of the patients are suffering as well, as they are forced to sleep on the pavements at the hospital. Pramod, a resident of Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, along with other family members has been sleeping on the pavement near the ATC for the last four days. “We don’t know where to go, so we prefer to sleep here,” he told Chandigarh Newsline. “We tried to ask a few people about the sarai, but we couldn’t get any information from anyone.”
Another attendant Kunta, whose son is admitted to the PGI’s emergency centre, says she remains awake most of the time during the night due to the cold. “I am already worried for my son, who is admitted inside. This cold adds to our troubles.”
PGI’s Public Relation Officer Manju Wadwalkar said the institute “provides accommodation to the needy and poor patients who come from far-off places for treatment, at nominal and affordable rates in the sarais”. “The sarais are a boon for these poor patients who cannot afford accommodation elsewhere,” she added.
According to the PRO, at present, there are four sarais (Rotary, Hari, Janta and Hans Raj) owned by the PGI in which 104 independent rooms and 184 beds in the dormitories are available.