November 20, 2018
Coimbatore Medical College Hospital (CMCH), in clarification to the viral video of cat nibbling the body of a woman, lying in the female ward, Dean Dr B Asokan has denied the occurrence of the incident and weirdly remarked that cell phones should not be allowed in the hospitals “Cell phones lead to confusions”.
The woman who was brought in last night passed away in the morning and there was some delay in taking the body to the mortuary, he added. Implying that dogs are a common sight inside the hospital, the Dean said that Dogs often maul the battery operated vehicles used to ferry people who are unable to walk. We are aware of cat, dogs and rats being present at hospital premises. They enter the general ward through the gaps in the roof. Patients and their family members feed the cats with milk and biscuits so that the cats chase the rats away. We have lodged complaints with the Corporation around four times a However, it is a futile exercise.”
On being asked why the hospital premise was not maintained properly. He got offensive and counter questioned asking, “Who says we don’t maintain the premises? He further justifies his statement saying,” We have cats as pet at home. Patients won’t get infected by cats unless the cats are infected ” he added.
Ironically, CMCH was awarded as 5th best hospital among city hospitals, according to The Week- Nielson Best Hospitals survey 2018. The viral video showed that the cat was standing near the leg for a long time. The woman was brought and admitted to the hospital on November 16, after she was found lying at the bus stand in Mettupalayam in the district, police said.
The doctors, who attended to the woman had diagnosed her as mentally disturbed and with lower health parameters, around 8 PM last night. An attender of a patient noticed the body lying on the floor unattended in a semi-nude condition and the cat trying to bite the lower parts of the leg.
“I was flabbergasted, angry and shocked to have witnessed such a horrific scene. I couldn’t take the videos since the scene was very disturbing. I went to inform the doctor who was on duty and she fled the scene immediately, says bystander, Sandhanam.
“The ramifications of leaving a dead body for long hours without disinfectant can be hazardous in nature”, say health experts. Lack of adequate systems and infrastructure for prevention and control in many healthcare facilities in India is leading to hospital-associated infections and spread of drugs resistant bacteria putting millions at risk, the Union government has admitted in a study published in British Medical Journal (BMJ).
In state hospitals, where treatment is supposed to be largely free, patients end up paying a price on the quality of the infrastructure. Poverty breeds ill-health and it forces people to live in environments that make them sick, without decent shelter, clean water and adequate sanitation.
According to Public Health Foundation of India, “About 55 million Indians were pushed into poverty in a single year because of having to fund their own healthcare and 38 million of them fell below the poverty line due to spending on medicines alone” Canines are seen scavenging for food in natural outdoor environments. However, when animals start nibbling on dead bodies in an indoor environment it proves that India’s disease burden is majorly borne by the poor.