Anchala Tiu, 23, a homemaker from Chakradharpur in West Singhbhum admitted to state-run MGM hospital in Sakchi here with a complicated pregnancy, heaved a sigh of relief on Saturday as she got a bed all by herself in the gynecology ward. The past three days, Anchala was sharing a bed with another patient. Like Anchala there are scores of women compelled to share a bed in MGM hospital’s gynecological ward. The ward has only 60 beds, but the number of patients goes well beyond 80 on any normal day, creating a severe crunch of beds. At times, there are over 100 patients in the ward. The width of each bed being just 2.5 feet, it is difficult for two women to share the narrow space. The problem gets worse when a woman with a newborn is forced to share the bed with another new mother and baby.
Many new mothers prefer to lie on the floor with their newborns rather than sharing a bed, creating a hygiene issue, especially when the mother and child are both vulnerable to infections. Anjali Srivastava, head of gynecology department, said she had to grapple with this bed crunch regularly. “We do put additional beds at the gynecological ward sometimes,” she said. “I have written to hospital authorities to increase the bed count at the ward.” Hospital superintendent Dr SN Jha admitted to the scarcity of beds in the gynecology ward. On an average, 20 deliveries take place every day at MGM. In addition, a considerable number of general patients with pre-natal or other gynecological complications also get admitted to the hospital every day.
“True, we are facing a serious problem in accommodating patients. Last Tuesday (August 21), we had 102 patients in the ward but beds stayed constant at 60. Then how could we have managed without making some patients share their beds with others? Some unwilling patients even preferred to sleep on the floor with their newborn than share a bed,” the superintendent told this paper. For a lasting solution, he said that state health secretary Nidhi Khare, who had visited the facility last month, asked MGM hospital authorities to explore the possibility of putting extra beds in the new six-storey (G+5) building block made on the hospital premises for PG studies. “Though meant for postgraduate classes, we have opened an outpatients’ department and will open a labor room and an operating theatre in the new building. We will see if we can put in some beds there, and how many, so that space is optimally used,” the superintendent said. – Telegraph India