• mid-day editorial: Our ratty healthcare must clean up its act

    Mid-day CorrespondentMumbaiOct 13, 2017, 06:05 IST

    Even two days after this paper's report about patients being attacked by rats in a BMC hospital, readers' comments continue to pour in about the unhygienic state of the medical care centres across the city.

    The report highlighted how rats nibbled at one victim's eye, while another woman's toe was gnawed on by the rodents. The hospital management has merely placed traps around the premises, while the rodents continue to have the run of the place. There is a blame game on with the authorities blaming the patients for leaving food next to their beds, attracting the rats. Whatever the reason, there is little doubt that this issue needs to be addressed and solved on a war footing. Rats inside medical premises, that too running all over the patients is unimaginable and unforgivable.

    Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case, nor is this the only health care facility with questionable standards of cleanliness. There are BMC facilities where cats and their kittens wander in the corridors freely. Dispensaries, clinics, hospitals need to maintain strict standards of cleanliness. Owners and the administration of private and public hospitals need to take a non-negotiable approach on this front.

    Public healthcare, especially, needs immediate improvements in terms of cleanliness and maintenance. Facilities that slip up must be penalised heavily. An external, non-partisan agency should be set up to evaluate hygiene at medical facilities, both private and public.

    When basics like cleanliness are compromised, how can we trust the healthcare sector to treat our loved ones and keep them safe? All our advancements in medicine and technology mean nothing if we can't ensure a safe, clean space to patients.

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