Bedbugs are giving sleepless nights to the already overburdened PGIMER resident doctors. The insect, which makes its home in mattresses and in crevices of furniture and lives on human blood, has invaded hostel rooms, and the doctors say the administration is yet to take any steps to tackle the menace.
On Friday, Chandigarh Newsline visited the old Doctor’s Hostel and found that a doctor had put out his cot in the open, outside the entrance to the hostel.
“There are bed bugs in this cot and I have kept it outside to get rid of them,” said the doctor, adding that there were bugs inside the room too. “The beds here have not been changed for a long time now,” he said.
Another doctor, who was checking the cot in his room, found to his dismay that the bugs had invaded his bed too.
Bedbugs spread quickly and are difficult to get rid of. Residents staying at the several hostels of the institute say that the problem has been there for a long while. “The bedbugs cling on to our clothes and come with us to OPD,” said Dr Avinash Kumar, vice president of the PGI Assocation of Resident Doctors.
Another doctor said they couldn’t sleep because of the bedbugs. “After duty, everyone wants to sleep, but at the hostel, we cannot get proper sleep,” the doctor said. “Many of the residents have to sleep on the floor.”
PGI spokeswoman Manju Wadwalkar said she was unaware of the problem.
Dr Kumar said they had complained to the PGI administration about the issue as far back as April this year, at the very first meeting of the ARD with the administration. No action had been taken yet. Some residents decided to buy new beds. “The administration and the central government should have provided us the new beds, but it is the resident doctors who have purchased from the market on their own,” said Dr. Kumar.
Another resident doctor who did not wish to be named said those living in the hostel were suffering because of the bed bug issue. “This is a grave injustice to the resident doctors. We work all day and then can’t get proper sleep because of insect bites. We were assured action then by the officials. But the problem is getting worse with each passing day,” he said.