Hyderabad: Thirty nine new wheelchairs were provided to the Osmania General Hospital in March but now only 11 are available. The chairs which are given to patients are broken and tied up with cloth.
The new ones are not being put into use as the wheelchairs which were in use have not been found. At present, there are 200 wheelchairs available for patients in three buildings. Most of them are in the orthopaedic and general surgery departments.
The ones kept outside the emergency and outpatient departments are broken. A senior doctor said, “We have 1,500 outpatients daily but in the morning no wheelchairs are available. In the emergency ward too we face the same problem.”
After junior doctors raised the issue of security, doctors have been talking about how wheelchairs and stretchers go missing from the hospital. Another senior doctor on condition of anonymity said, “The new wheelchairs given by the government in March are not seen at all in the OP. Only those in the corridor are seen. But the ones which were in use are not there in the hospital. Ward boys and security must be made accountable for the missing wheelchairs.”
Doctors say that CCTVs must be installed in the corridors to find out how equipments are taken out of the hospital. OGH has 11 entry points and manning them all is difficult. Mr Mujtaba Askari who aids OGH patients explained, “There are allegations that ward boys and ayahs allow patient attenders to take away new wheelchairs for paltry sums. Due to this, new wheelchairs are not seen in the hospital. After using, some leave broken wheelcha-irs in the compound and they are used again.”
Junior doctors say these clandestine operations are carried out at night when there are no senior doctors around. A junior doctor on condition of anonymity said, “The new wheelchairs are seen only for a week. After that finding a new wheelchair is difficult as no one knows where it disappears. It is allegedly given to patients but when damaged they give it back. The ward boys do not keep an inventory of the chairs in the hospital.”
OGH superintendent Dr G.V.S Murthy refused to comment on the subject stating that he was not aware of it and it is for resident medical officers to look into it....