Field Visit to Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital, Bihar

Healthcare has emerged as one of the largest service sectors in India. However India’s dysfunctional public health system continues to pose a grave threat to the health of Indian patients. Lack of adequate basic facilities at hospital seems like lesser addressed issue.

The a fact finding team from HRLN accompanied by two representatives from Prayas and two social activists visited Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital (DMCH). The field visit revealed that DMCH lacked infrastructure and staff. The hospital’s condition can be considered questionable. Majority of the services at this health facility were not available.

The hospital administration has failed in maintaining even the minimum standards of cleanliness in the hospital. Large dumps of garbage including biological, surgical and daily wastes cover most of the empty areas and corners of the hospital.

Patients are not given any benefits under government scheme. The hospital also lacked required equipment. The emergency room is only a three bedded facility which does not have an emergency kit, emergency tray or even oxygen-kit. Though various wall painting and posters have been put up to provide correct information, yet the crucial information was either outdated or has faded over time.

Due to poor healthcare infrastructure in Darbhanga, it is inevitable for the rural population to access medical facilities and spend more than they can afford. DMCH offers scanty infrastructure and unhygienic conditions and staff shortage. The hospital premises act equally as animal shed for cows and pigs. Wards are surrounded with dirty places and are poorly-equipped. There is a shortage of basic equipment like X-Ray machines, emergency kit/tray etc. Out of pocket expenses are high and the beneficiaries have to buy medicines which should be provided free of cost.

People who were interviewed during discussions mentioned that there was a dire need to improve infrastructure and hygiene at DMCH. A necessary change needs be brought in the orientation of medical professionals and behavioural change among the operating staffs of the equipments. Efforts can be made to allocate money and the authority concerned for the management of delivery of services. Required facilities and services have to be provided as per the standards along with dedicated team for the maintenance of the hospital and its equipments needs to be formed.

Also, as a matter of strengthening preventive and promotive services, a routine check must be practiced.

 

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