Under Close Examination: Complaints regarding the Institute Hospital

Edited by: Sajusha Ashok | Design by: Alphin Tom

An smail thread surfaced on May 22, 2022, where students articulated concerns regarding the Institute Hospital’s services, staff and pharmacy. Some of these are highlighted below. 

For one, the pharmacy shops are open from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM and students expressed inconvenience when they required medicines after the pharmacy’s closing time. An smail stated, “They refused me to give the medicine as the time crossed 7:30 PM, which is the closing time. When I asked the doctor, she said we can’t do anything.” T5E directly reached out to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for answers regarding this and other complaints raised by the students. In response to this concern, she stated that the doctors/nurses themselves give medicines to patients during emergencies instead of asking students to procure them from the pharmacy. She further said, “Patients are either retained, admitted or referred depending on the emergency. If the situation is not very severe, medicines will be given for the night and the patient is asked to review the next day, or a prescription is given and the patient is asked to collect it from the pharmacy.” 

For another, a friend accompanying the patient is often not allowed inside the hospital. There have been instances when friends were asked to leave the hospital premises and denied entry therein. This is particularly inconvenient when the patient is too weak to speak or respond. One of the students thus observed, “This restriction against a friend or family member accompanying the patient puts a major trust barrier between us and the institute as we have no guarantee as to the wellbeing of the patient.” However, according to the CMO, the person accompanying a patient is told to wait outside the consulting room for privacy and effective examination by the doctor. These hospital policies not only facilitate uninterrupted consultation, diagnosis and treatment but also ensure safety and discipline within the premises.

“This restriction against a friend or family member accompanying the patient puts a major trust barrier between us and the institute as we have no guarantee as to the wellbeing of the patient.”

Further, some emails complained about the lack of promptness shown by doctors, nurses and the staff. Students talked of a doctor or specialist not being available when they required a consultation. An smail complaint stated: “I visited the hospital one day for a severe stomach ache at 7:00 PM and the doctor took more than half an hour to call me inside even though she was free.” Another noted, “The institute hospital doesn’t have a dermatologist, even as a consulting doctor.” Consequently, students prefer getting treatment from hospitals outside the Institute, which are often too far, expensive or inconvenient to be accessed. To such emails, the DoSt responded, “The Institute Hospital is a primary-level hospital. Hence all specialisations may not be available.” 

These issues must be looked into before they become too serious for students to trust the Institute’s hospital services. It is, however, reassuring that the CMO expressed willingness to immediately resolve any issues, should they arise, and rectify their ways.

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