Lack of facilities makes post-mortem a tough task for limited staff at OGH mortuary
Deccan Chronicle.| Syed Omar Farooq
Compared to the Gandhi Hospital morgue, the OGH lacks basic facilities, an in-charge professor at the OGH morgue said
As there is no drinking water facility for eight professors and eight Class IV staff at the morgue, the duty doctor has to buy 20 litres of water and 16 plastic glasses for the staff daily, an associate professor at the OGH said. DC file image
HYDERABAD: If insufficient facilities at state-run hospitals for providing advanced healthcare had been a cause for complaint for long, lack of adequate amenities at the morgues in major government hospitals seems to be adding to the woes of doctors and Class IV staff alike.
Government doctors who conduct autopsies, especially at the Osmania General Hospital (OGH), are still following the British time rules of performing the post-mortem between 9 am and 4 pm. Though they are ready to follow the state and Central government guidelines to perform autopsies even after sunset, as directed by the government on December 1 last, lack of basic facilities at the OGH morgue is said to be proving a hurdle.
The OGH morgue is said to be the most neglected. Professors and associate professors feel that the facilities should be prioritised as the state government recently sanctioned Rs 5 crore for its modernisation.
"Compared to the Gandhi Hospital morgue, the OGH lacks basic facilities. The management is still not able to find a contractor. The hospital management should take it up seriously and complete the modernising work not just for our benefit, but for the victims’ relatives as well," an in-charge professor at the OGH morgue said.
This year, more than 900 autopsies have been conducted at OGH morgue that has 30 freezer boxes to preserve bodies whereas the requirement is for 100. Last year more than 4,350 autopsies were conducted there.
"As there is no drinking water facility for eight professors and eight Class IV staff at the morgue, the duty doctor has to buy 20 litres of water and 16 plastic glasses for the staff daily," an associate professor at the OGH said.
The new rules also mention that the relatives do not have to wait for the bodies outside the mortuaries. "We had to wait for four hours in the hot sun to get the body. The hospital has no facility for drinking water," said G. Anuradha, who had come with her family to collect her brother’s body.
"Not only I, others who come here are in agony after losing their loved ones. I felt very sad when I saw them crying for hours and there was not even drinking water for them. I arranged a carton of bottles for them," she said.
The Centre’s guidelines passed in November last year state that post-mortem examinations should be done after sunset in emergency cases based on the priority of investigation agencies.
"Modernisation of the OGH is under tender process. Once it is finalised, we will immediately start the work. It is a Rs 5.99 crore project. We will modernise the mortuary that will be the best in the city. Foundation stone for the same will be laid on April 1," Dr B. Nagender, OGH superintendent, said.