By V. Chethan Narasimha
Mysore/Mysuru: The Krishna Rajendra (K.R.) Hospital, originally built by the erstwhile rulers of Mysore State with the noble intention of providing affordable healthcare to the people of Mysuru and surrounding areas, has sadly transformed into a place of misery for the less fortunate.
Despite successive Governments investing in much-needed infrastructure for this century-old hospital, the employees’ greed for money has led to the denial of basic medical tests to patients.
The hospital, known as ‘Doddaspatre,’ attracts thousands of economically disadvantaged and middle-class individuals seeking quality treatment at a minimum cost. However, after enduring long waits for outpatient slips, patients meet doctors with the hope of receiving proper care.
To their dismay, doctors often prescribe a series of expensive medical tests, including blood tests, X-rays, ultrasound scanning, Hepatitis-B tests, and MRI scanning, pushing the patients to get these done outside the hospital. Despite the availability of good scanning, X-Ray and laboratory equipment within the hospital itself, the patients are left in a dilemma, unable to afford the costly tests or the required treatment for their ailments.
Shockingly, even crucial Tetanus Toxoid (TT) Injections, needed for emergency cases, are reportedly unavailable in the hospital, with attendants forced to purchase them from outside medical shops.
Preoccupied with mobile phones
Moreover, both doctors and paramedical staff appear indifferent to the patients’ suffering, as they seem preoccupied with their mobile phones rather than attending to their responsibilities. The Emergency Wards primarily consist of junior doctors and while some provide treatment, others are engrossed in their phones.
This lack of attention and care from the medical staff raises concerns among the aggrieved patients and their families. The hospital’s sanitation situation is deplorable, with toilets emitting filthy odours and becoming breeding grounds for infectious diseases. The lack of maintenance and proper sanitation facilities inconveniences inpatients and discourages their use.
In a disheartening development, the hospital’s front garden has been converted into a parking lot, eliminating greenery and denying a peaceful resting place for patients’ relatives.
Patients pour out woes
Multiple patients shared their distressing experiences, highlighting the hospital’s inefficiencies. Some reported being turned away without receiving their scan reports and told to return the next day due to time constraints. Others revealed that treatment often relies on connections or contacts within the hospital, with those lacking such influence facing difficulties in accessing proper care.
A patient, Rukmini, shared her harrowing encounter with the hospital’s staff, claiming that they resort to unprofessional practices when bribes are not given. Despite the mistreatment, she feels left with no choice but to return due to her limited options as a financially disadvantaged individual.
“I came here in the morning to get the scanning done. After waiting until evening, they informed me that their time was over and asked me to come back tomorrow. Now, I have to return to my village and come here again tomorrow,” said Mahadevamma, another patient who was waiting at the hospital.
One Ramesh, who had accompanied his mother to the hospital, said: “We brought our mother from K.R. Nagar for treatment and the doctor prescribed a scan. However, the staff asked us to come back after one week because my mother is considered an outpatient. Shocked and frustrated, we shared this with my brother, who managed to contact someone in the hospital. Eventually, the scan was done later. It seems that receiving proper treatment here depends on having the right connections. There is nobody to monitor the situation, and everyone seems to follow their own rules.”
Nothing changed even after Upa Lokayukta’s notice
It may be recalled here that Upa Lokayukta Justice K.N. Phaneendra took proactive action against the mismanagement at K.R. Hospital. Following his visit on June 18, where he expressed dissatisfaction with the substandard maintenance, hygiene issues and inefficient resource utilisation, he initiated suo motu proceedings against the responsible authorities.
The Upa Lokayukta initiated suo motu proceedings against the Hospital Medical Superintendent and Resident Medical Officer and were named as respondents in the notice.
The allegations include dereliction of duty and during the visit, the Upa Lokayukta observed deficiencies in patient care, infrastructure and hygiene, particularly affecting people from the lower strata of society who frequent the State-run Hospital. Notably, patients with gangrene and cellulitis were left unattended on benches and tables without proper bedding or hygiene measures.
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