Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Though the Odisha government is boasting of taking several initiatives to provide world-class healthcare facilities at the SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack, hundreds of patients and their attendants are suffering due to the scorching heat sans any shelter homes or rest sheds on the hospital premises.

Hundreds of patients from different parts of the State and outside are referred to the hospital every day. They along with their attendants have to wait for hours outside for their turn to consult the doctors. However, the hospital has no shelter home or rest shed. As a result, the situation is forcing the patients and their attendants to wait outside the corridor with the temperature sizzling over 40 degrees Celsius in Cuttack. While some of them have to suffer by sitting under trees, others bear the gruelling heat while waiting on the roadside.

A couple with their one-year-old child was recently seen waiting outside the corridor in the scorching heat to consult a doctor. An eighty-year-old patient with an injured leg from Balasore was also found waiting for his turn on the roadside as he didn’t find a roof to take shelter. Some other patients and their attendants were even seen sharing some shade with stray cattle and dogs.

“We spend the entire day on the roadside to wait for our turn to consult the doctor. It’s too hot outside. However, we have no other option but to suffer,” said Sahadeba Sandha, a patient.

“What can we do? The hospital has no facilities where patients and their attendants can wait for long hours to consult the doctors. We have no alternative but to suffer outside in the scorching heat,” said Raghunath Majhi, a patient.

As per Rabindranath Mallick, an attendant of a patient, the medical authorities should have constructed temporary rest sheds in view of the heat wave.

Considering the plight of hundreds of patients and their attendants at the hospital, questions are being raised about the lackadaisical attitude of the State government.

As construction activities are currently going on for the development of the hospital, permanent rest sheds cannot be built. However, there is no problem in constructing temporary tents to provide shelter and relief to the patients and the attendants from the scorching sun.

“The government is not at all concerned about the plight of the common people. When guideline has been issued that people should not go outside their houses after 10 AM, is it justified that patients and their attendants will suffer in the scorching heat outside the hospital,” said Suresh Chandra Mohanty, a social worker.

Responding to the situation, SCB medical Superintendent, Dr. Sudhansu Sekhar Mishra said, “The hospital has some permanent rest sheds. There is no proposal to build any temporary sheds.”

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