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Mental hospital ‘Shocks’
Date of Publishing: 2012-12-13 00:00:00.0
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Government Mental Hospital lies in sorry state. Lack of security, sanitation, dilapidated building, and insufficient food are some of the problems that plague the hospital. While patients and their family members cry foul, management refutes all claims.  

The plight of the patients visiting the Institute of Mental Health Hospital, Erragadda is ironical. Poor sanitation, insufficient food, crumbling building, lack of security, are few of the inconveniences faced by the patients at this nearly five decade old Government Hospital.

Hygiene And Sanitation Amiss
The hospital is built on 45 acre sprawling campus and is a classic example of neglect. Wild overgrowth and stagnant pool of water is a common sight on the premises. It is not difficult to gauge the level of apathy of the hospital management with the windows of the male dining hall opening into a large pond of stagnant water.

Dilapidated Building
 With the exception of the road that leads from the main entrance to the administrative building of the hospital, there is not a single CC road in the campus.
The building which serves as the main Male ward is on the verge of collapse. The walls have developed deep cracks and plaster can be seen peeling off at several places. Since the hospital was constructed almost half a century ago most of the wards and buildings have small windows and poor lighting and ventilation. Dilapidated state of the toilets is also the cause of worry of the patients.

Free But Insufficient Food
Patients are served three meals comprising breakfast at 7 am, lunch at 12 noon and diner at 5 pm. While the food is provided for free, the quantity served is very less. Rama Lakshmi whose 35-year-old twins are admitted in the hospital has been coming to the hospital for the last 14 years for their treatment. "Though the quality of food has improved somewhat, the quantity has reduced. The amount of food given is not sufficient for one person. As a result most of
us cook food on the premises," says Lakshmi.

Security Lapse
IMH has another peculiar problem, absence of a compound wall. This has made the pockmarked road of the hospital a thoroughfare. Residents of the colony behind the hospital use it as a short cut. The noise of vehicular movement throughout the day is a nuisance to the patients.  

Resource Crunch
The hospital has six open wards and two in-wards with 600 beds with around 450 patients admitted.  Nearly 500 out patients visit the hospital daily. With this large number of patients seeking medical attention the IMH is reeling under resource crunch by 30 percent. While doctors' visit the in-patients daily, the out-patients who have to bear the brunt. "I have come here with my husband and have been waiting since morning but there is no doctor to attend to us. I come here every month and it's the same story every time. If we are lucky we get to see the doctor," says Razia Khanam.

Management Speaks
Dr. V Promod Kumar, Superintendent of the Mental Hospital responded with refutation of all claims. "Sanitation has been outsourced but since the private party hasn't done a good job we are deliberating cancelling the contract. Within a few months we will shift the wards in the new building. The hospital has a compound wall but it has been broken down by anti social elements for which we have sought police intervention," said the Superintendent.

No Permission
While the entire world can enter and wander in the hospital premises, It is also important to note that the Superintendent did not grant permission to Cityplus reporter and photographer to visit the hospital wards on the grounds of breach of patients' rights.
 Cityplus also spoke to R Govind Reddy, SI S R Nagar Police Station who said that no such report has come to his notice. "We will look into the matter only when the hospital authorities file a complaint," said the cop.

--Sadaf Aman

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