After the recent incident of two bodies getting exchanged in a case of mistaken identity at Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital, Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has decided to set up a new well-equipped and adequately staffed postmortem centre with more cadaver storage capacity and dissection facility.
The two-floor postmortem centre will come up near the existing one at the civic-run YCMH at a cost of Rs 10 crore, according to officials.
“The new postmortem centre will have the capacity to store 60 bodies in cold storage unlike the existing one which can store only 22 bodies,” Dr Shrikant Shinge, incharge of the postmortem centre at the YCMH said.
The new centre will be the second biggest postmortem centre in Pune after the one run by the Sassoon hospital, according to Dr Shinge. “The Sassoon hospital centre has different units for individual bodies as well as mass casualties with a capacity to store at least 160 bodies,” he said.
The cold storage room is being constructed on the ground floor of the new building. “On the same floor, dissection tables will be available. In the existing postmortem centre, there are four tables for the dissection of bodies. In the new centre, there will be nine tables for dissections. In the dissection facility, donated bodies are dissected for medical students to learn,” Dr Shinge said.
Once fully operational, the PCMC plans to convert the postmortem centre into a department of forensic medicine and toxicology. “We have proposed a department which will have a teaching facility. We will get students from private medical colleges. We have sought teaching faculty for the centre which has already been approved by municipal commissioner Shekhar Singh last week. Currently, we do not have teachers who could impart autopsy lessons to students,” Dr Shinge said.
On the first floor, a lecture hall with 60 seating capacity will be constructed. “Besides, we will have a research lab and advanced learning centre where clinical doctors who perform surgeries will have an operation theatre-like set up for teaching purposes on the first floor. This will especially benefit private doctors whom we will assist for teaching purposes,” said Dr Shinge.
“Since we did not have a dissection facility, we had to reject bodies. We were asking citizens to take the bodies to the nearby Dr D Y Patil hospital. We get at least two-three bodies every month for donation,” he said.
The existing postmortem centre has 11 employees. “We will have 16 more employees once the new centre is set up,” said Dr Shinge.
While the PCMC administration is still investigating the recent mix-up involving bodies, official sources said inadequate staff at the centre was one of the reasons behind it.
Dr Rajendra Wable, dean at the YCMH, said with the new centre, they would not have to feel the embarrassment of rejecting a request from the family of a deceased to store the body. “We get requests from citizens to store bodies for a day or more, not only from Pimpri-Chinchwad but also from beyond the industrial city. Sometimes due to a lack of storage capacity, we could not store the bodies. The 60-capacity cold storage room will help us store more bodies,” he said.