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State’s premiere TB hospital wallowing in neglect


GUWAHATI, Feb 12: The Lokapriya Gopith Bordoloi Chest Hospital, a premier healthcare institution in Assam specializing in treating tuberculosis patients, is presently battling a host of problems ranging from lack of laboratory to ambulance service and from poor biomedical waste magement to erratic power and water supply. To add to these, there are other problems dogging the hospital, making it a considerably less preferred option for patients in the last few years.

Reliable sources informed that no mini laboratory for blood tests is available in the hospital. Patients have to get their blood tests done at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH). One laboratory technician of the hospital is engaged in the District TB Centre, Kamrup for sputum examition only while other technicians are engaged in some other works, sources added.

Despite the hospital having a few ambulances, one ambulance is out of order and has not been repaired for a while. The drivers of other ambulances available are being used for official purposes only. Ambulance service is provided only through ‘102’ service where oxygen supply is often found uvailable.

The hospital is also facing shortage of gloves, cotton and disinfectants like soap, phenyl and bleaching powder. Poor patients need to buy syringes from outside the hospital. Blood collection vial is also not available in the hospital for blood transfusion and needy patients have to buy blood from GMCH.

Sources also pointed out that while proper disposal of biomedical wastes is essential for any hospital, general waste generated daily in Lokapriya Gopith Bordoloi Chest Hospital is not cleaned by its authority or the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC).  

The hospital is also facing shortages in water supply. “Pipes supplying water to the wards are not separated from those for quarters and outside. Hence, 24-hour water supply to patients is not provided. Water supply tanks are not cleaned periodically and as a result, water supplied to patients is not safe for drinking. This is the reason why patients often suffer from diarrhoea while being treated in the hospital,” sources said, adding, “The hospital kitchen has also not been repaired for a long time by PWD (Building).”

Sources further informed that no inverter is available in four wards of the hospital, leaving patients as well as the staff at the mercy of power cuts. As for the condition of the hospital morgue, the less said the better.

It may be mentioned that the Lokapriya Gopith Bordoloi Chest Hospital was earlier known as the Lokapriya Gopith Bordoloi Memorial Tuberculosis Hospital & Satorium, the foundation stone for which was laid in 1954. But the hospital is now a shadow of its former self, lacking even a basic environment to treat TB patients.