A resident doctor of the radiology department at the civic-run Sion hospital was injured after the roof of one of the hostel rooms collapsed in the wee hours of Tuesday. Dr Dhruv Sharma (26) sustained head injuries after a slab fell on him.
The accident took place at 2.45 am on Tuesday morning in Sion hospital’s old Army barracks, which are now being used as resident quarters. Resident doctors said the barracks were constructed before the 1950s and were utilised to treat Army officials, however, the structure had weakened over the years.
Sharma, who joined the hospital in June and moved into the hospital accommodation in July, said, “I was sleeping when the centre of the roof collapsed. My two room-mates were on duty in the hospital. First, a portion of the ceiling fell on my bed. Before I could move, another portion fell on my head. The major portion, which collapsed, fell in the centre of the quarters, towards my right.”
Sharma sustained minor abrasions on his back and right elbow and had a swollen head. He was taken to the hospital’s casualty department for a CT scan. While he has been discharged from the hospital to rest at his Mira Road residence, he has been complaining of persistent headaches.
Resident doctors told Newsline that they had been complaining about the weak structure to the authorities for a long time. The old barracks have an aluminum roof as their ceiling. A resident doctor said, “It’s not only his (Dhruv) room, which is in bad shape. Even the ceiling in our barrack is weak, and during heavy rain, we fear it can fall any minute.”
Another doctor from the Medical Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) in Sion hospital said, “Through the warden, we have complained to the dean of the hospital. Since we have limited residential buildings in the premises, we cannot move out until an alternative accommodation is provided. Even the warden committee has discussed the problem.”
A proposal to build two towers in place of the barracks has been gathering dust in the BMC for over five years now, said sources. A senior doctor at the hospital said, “We had estimated a total budget of Rs 51 crore to demolish and build new towers. A token amount was given for construction, however, the plan has been kept on hold for a few years now.
According to Dr Avinash Supe, the hospital’s dean, in the last one year, accommodation for 200 doctors has been arranged. “We are now in the process of appointing an architect to design the master plan of Sion hospital. New quarters will be constructed and these doctors will be shifted there.”
Supe added that the room’s ceiling was repaired by a civil engineer and the mishap occurred after a tree branch feel on it.
Sanjay Deshmukh, additional municipal commissioner at BMC, is at present on leave. He said, “I am not aware of the incident. When I return, I will look into the matter and see what is required to be done.”