After hearing the grievances of some inmates of RD Wing Covid Care Center, it has come to my knowledge that there have been instances of rude behaviours and lapses in following protocols in the treatment of patients.
By Oinam Prembrata Singh
When I arrived at the RD Wing Lamphel, Covid Care Centre on the evening of June 17, I was already under severe mental stress and trauma fearing I might have infected my family members including a 6 year old asthmatic nephew. The only reason I did not leave immediately after being humiliated by the situation was because I had nowhere else to go. Similar fate might have hit other inmates too.
When I arrived at my designated room, I found out that the person occupying the other bed had already been staying for a few days. He already had renal medical issues and was surviving with one kidney. Fearing further renal complications along with Covid-19 and also thinking that he already was undergoing treatment prior to my arrival, asked the medical staff of the centre if he could be shifted to another room if there ever was a possibility. While making the request, I observed no hostility of any kind on his part when he made the request. But instead of explaining him the technicalities in a well-behaved manner, he was rudely told that he could opt for home quarantine if he wished and disrespectfully told to go to his room.
I was also told by a friend who was staying at this centre previously that her mother whose SPO was only 84 was told to leave after the 10 days’ standard treatment at the centre. He was told that after the completion of the 10 days’ treatment, patients were free to consult private medical practitioners which is not the same n case in other centres. In spite of being treated in such inhumane nature, I never spoke rudely to any of the staff members during my 10-day tenure at the centre fearing being kicked out of the place. I understand the patients being entitled to cleaning their own rooms but in this centre, maintaining the cleanliness and sanitation of the washrooms was also left to the patients who were admitted.
The only job the cleaning staff members did were spraying sodium hypochlorite and mopping the corridors and clearing the trash cans. The total number of patients are less than 80 according to my observation which is way less than other centres. Only one doctor and few nurses attended the patients. Sometimes, there were only nurses during the morning and evening rounds which hardly took 30 minutes as most of the patients are asymptomatic. Rest of the treatment and consultation were done through telephonic conversations which were never satisfying. So, the staff members’ excuse of their rudeness and the very reason often cited – work stress is completely unacceptable as it is nothing compared to what the staff members of RIMS and JNIMS have to go through as the number of occupants were much higher and are in much severe conditions requiring constant observation and checking unlike the half an hour routine of checking SPO in RD Wing.
So I would like everyone to consider the stress experienced by the patients being treated at RD Wing who are already in trauma due to fear of being affected by the deadly virus. The patients are staying in this centre as they have nowhere else to go. I would like to draw the attention of the concerned authority to ensure that unacceptable behaviour of the staff members are not repeated as it may tarnish the image of the whole medical fraternity including the ones performing their duties with utmost dedication.
(Oinam Prembrata Singh is Executive Producer, Film and Video Dept., Karmactive, Thane, Maharashtra. Currently, he is admitted at the RD Wing Lamphel, Covid Care Centre)