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Doctors Outsource Work To Ward Boys In Mumbai's Podar Hospital

Mumbai : Twenty-year-old Abdul Mohammed who suffered a deep cut on his little finger during a bike accident went to Worli's Podar Hospital. There, a man in a white uniform calmly administered an injection and
PTI September 13, 2010 10:52 IST
PTI
Mumbai : Twenty-year-old Abdul Mohammed who suffered a deep cut on his little finger during a bike accident went to Worli's Podar Hospital. There, a man in a white uniform calmly administered an injection and dressing to him, reports Mumbai Mirror.  

At the time Abdul did not realise that the person treating him was not a doctor, or even an MBBS student, but merely a ward boy, whose educational qualifications were limited to a Std VIII report card.  

This is not a one-off incident.  For 10 years now, ward boys and sweepers at this 60-year-old hospital have been treating patients at the casualty ward. They say they have been taught how to give injections and even stitches by resident doctors. 



While some cite shortage of staff for this state of affairs, in another corner Malegaon blasts accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, has the Dean attending on her.

 “She refused to be treated in the general ward and asked for a separate room. The Dean did all he could to ensure this was done. Meanwhile, there is not even one doctor to look at those needing emergency care, the most crucial period of any treatment,” said a doctor.  

As per the guidelines of the Medical Council of India, only those with at least a nursing degree can give injections to patients. In fact, even nurses can't administer stitches. Only doctors are qualified to do so.  

But the ward boy Mumbai Mirror met sees no harm in what he is doing. “I used to make mistakes earlier, but have become an expert now.”  

A casualty ward such as the one at Podar, which sees more than 50 patients a day, should have a doctor, two nurses and a compounder available at all times. Many of the cases they receive are of fractures as the hospital is situated at a busy junction prone to accidents.  

“But we are forced to send them to Parel's KEM Hospital. Our casualty ward is in pathetic state. We don't even have a compounder,” said a medical officer.  

Hospital Dean P Deshmukh said, “We are facing severe staff shortage. However, the ward boys and sweepers should direct patients to the doctors and nurses.”  Meanwhile, Abdul is not sure that he will return to the hospital for a follow-up.