Hyderabad: Doctors In Helmets Treat Patients To Protest Against Crumbling Hospital Building
Patients at Osmania General Hospital in Hyderabad on September 7 saw the doctors in a new avatar. Clad in white, the doctors of the century-old hospital sported safety helmets, as a mark of protest to draw the government’s attention to its dilapidated condition.
Doctors wear safety helmets
According to NDTV, many doctors in the hospital have been wearing helmets during their work hours. Moreover, the hospital has encountered multiple instances wherein parts of the roof have fallen, endangering the lives of those inside the hospital. Reportedly, at least five people have been injured in such incidents in the past. Doctors said that as a part of the agitation, doctors, halting their daily work will protest for over an hour every day till their demands to restore the old building are met.
Reportedly, the hospital staff were on strike for four months until state health minister Dr Laxma Reddy had assured that new structure would be constructed soon. However, no action was taken by the government.
Speaking to The News Minute, the Osmania Government Hospital Joint Action Committee (OGHJAC) chairman, Pandu Naik said, “The Health Minister Dr Laxma Reddy in April promised to lay the foundation stone for the new structure and to take up the construction works soon. However, after three months, they haven’t done anything and now they have dissolved the government. These structures don’t know if the government has been dissolved or not, it could collapse at any moment. We are constantly worried. Should we work taking such extreme risks?”
The building is old and unsafe
Reportedly, both the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and Telangana State Medical Services and Infrastructure Development Corporation (TSMSIDC), after evaluating the hospital premises had declared it to be unsafe.
According to India Today, K Chandrasekhar Rao, the caretaker chief minister (since the Telangana government was dissolved recently) had, in 2015, proposed demolishing the building and replace it with a modern 24-floor building. However, the idea was shelved after citizens demanded to preserve the colonial-era structure.
The hospital, completed in 1919, is among the oldest in the country. It was designed by the British architect Vincent Jerome Esch. However, routine neglect has led to its dilapidated and worrisome state, so much so that the hospital reported of cement flakes falling off of the roof thrice in the last one month.