September 14, 2021 5:43:15 am
EMERGENCY MEDICAL officers (EMOs) missing from emergency wards and instead found surfing on their phones in retiring rooms, attendants working without wearing face masks and at least six people found consuming alcohol inside one of Chandigarh most frequented hospitals, the GMCH-32 — these were some of the findings during surprise checks conducted by UT Health Secretary Yashpal Garg at six government health facilities late Sunday night.
Garg conducted surprise visits at GMCH-32, GMSH-16, Civil Hospital Manimajra, Civil Hospital Sector 22, Sector 45 and ESI Hospital Ramdarbar.
At GMCH-32, the health secretary had to disclose his identity when a hospital attendant in the emergency ward ignored him. “It was the first of the surprise checks in government hospitals. The SMOs, medical superintendents etc. should also conduct surprise rounds during night time. EMOs should remain in emergency instead of retiring to the rooms and leaving nursing staff/attendants there. We need to consider deputing senior doctors, consultants during night shifts in GMCH-32 and GMSH-16. We may ascertain about the night duty roster being followed in PGIMER and other premier medical institutions in other parts of the country,” he said.
Garg wrote to officers of the concerned health institutes asking them not to take action against the staff members because it was the first such check. “But next time, we will not spare anyone,” he said. He also wrote to the SSP (UT) to initiate legal action against the occupants of two cars, who were found drinking in the GMCH-32 premises, and advised checks on entry of such persons and their loitering around on the campuses of GMCH-32 and GMSH-16.
Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32
Birender Singh, supervisor of the security guards, was found busy surfing on his mobile phone, largely ignoring those coming in and going out of the emergency ward. Dr Monika, the EMO, was not available in the emergency ward. The checking party found her surfing on her phone in a nearby room.
Attendant Om Prakash was in the emergency with 5-6 persons including a police personnel. None of them were wearing face masks and “were busy gossiping/cracking jokes”. Garg stated in his findings: “After standing in front of them for about a minute, I asked Om Prakash whether he was the EMO to which replied that the doctor had gone somewhere and thereafter again got busy gossiping without asking about the purpose of my visit. Then I disclosed my identity and asked him to call the EMO. I followed him to the nearby room where the EMO was surfing on her phone. She came to the emergency ward and said she had left just two minutes ago but it might be incorrect because of the atmosphere there.”
At the oxygen plant in the hospital, the plant supervisor, operators, helper were sleeping inside and got up when the checking party knock on the half-open rolling shutter. In front of the oxygen plant, two cars were parked with the doors wide open and 5-6 persons were consuming liquor. Suddenly, they started arguing loudly, using abusive language. They informed Garg that they had come to have food. Garg asked them to leave after disposing the litter strewn by them in a nearby dustbin. Initially, they did not leave but agreed to do so when Garg’s driver started dialing ‘100’.
ESI Hospital, Ramdarbar
Dr Akanksha, the EMO, was sleeping in the adjacent room. Later, she was called by the staff in Emergency. Dr Dhiraj Badiyal, the insurance medical officer (IMO) was doing rounds in the ward. The x-ray machine was lying defunct and a patient in emergency was asked to go to GMCH-32 for x-ray. Plaster was peeling off the ceiling above one of the beds in Emergency and the patient was shifted to another bed. The security guards (more than two dozen), hired by an outsourcing agency, M/s Bombay Intelligence Security Agencies (BIS), told Garg that they had not been paid their salaries since February.
Civil Hospital, Sector 22
Dr Kriti, the EMO, was inside the room. A patient was kept waiting for her outside the room. He was attended when she came out of her room. When Garg told her that she should have been available for the patient waiting outside, she said that whenever she got information about a patient, she would come out of the room. There was only one patient in the ward and the EMO took the last round at about 9 pm.
Civil Hospital, Sector 45
Dr Gurpreet Singh was the EMO. At the time of entry of the undersigned in the hospital, he was attending to a patient who was complaining of pain in the abdomen. Though he came for duty at 8 pm, he was yet to take a round in the ward, claiming to be busy with new patients. Dr Alka, the LMO, was in the maternity ward.
GMSH, Sector 16
Dr Satyam was the EMO and was busy with his team attending to a seriously injured patient. After waiting there for some time considering that it would not be appropriate to disturb the EMO who was busy with the patient, the health secretary left without interacting with the EMO.
Civil Hospital, Manimajra
Dr Mohd Ashraf, the EMO, was doing rounds in the wards. Dr Shweta, the labour medical officer (LMO), informed the team that there had been one successful delivery and two more were expected during the night. Though the security guards were wearing face masks, most of the medical staff were not.
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