Open House: What should be done to check negligence & callous attitude of staff at health centres? : The Tribune India

Open House: What should be done to check negligence & callous attitude of staff at health centres?

Take strict action in cases of medical negligence

Open House: What should be done to check negligence & callous attitude of staff at health centres?

The Civil Hospital, where a patient recently died after falling from a stretcher, in Ludhiana. - File photo

Hire competent staff, raise bed capacity

Illness or injuries can occur any time, without warning. Hospitals have the Emergency Department to cater to such patients with traumatic injuries and illnesses that require immediate treatment or urgent care. The department usually follow four steps — triage, registration, treatment and re-evaluation. But these procedures were not followed in case of an unidentified patient, who died after falling off a stretcher at the Civil Hospital in Ludhiana. Following an investigation, the authorities took action against the responsible employees. However, the question of why such carelessness occurred in the first place remains unanswered. Health officials may blame it on heavy patient load, but leaving a patient on a stretcher unattended is unacceptable. The Health department should hire competent personnel and increase bed capacity in civil hospitals to avoid the loss of lives due to inadequacy and negligence.

Novin Christopher

Need to sensitise ward boys, nurses

It is shameful on the part of the hospital authorities that a patient died due to falling from a stretcher on the hospital premises. Ward boys and nurses should be well trained and warned to be extra cautious while shifting a patient. Ward boys can be seen handling patients rudely even while shifting them from their vehicles to hospital wheelchairs and stretchers. Also, there are usually only one or two persons on duty for shifting patients, making it difficult for them to do their job well in case of heavy rush. There should be more ward boys, under a senior’s supervision, on duty for the purpose. In case of such mishaps, individuals on duty should be fined or permanently removed from their jobs. The head of the hospital should ensure that such a mishap never happens in the hospital. The policy of hospitals, under which attendants are not allowed to accompany patients while shifting, needs to be changed.

Gautam Dev

Separate passage for critical patients

Every hospital should have stretchers that are fully equipped with medical instruments and support on the side. There must be a separate passage for critical patients and it should be ensured that there is no crowd in this area. Staff responsible for shifting patients and taking them on stretchers should be well trained as there is no scope for carelessness. The infrastructure of each hospital should be inspected periodically and a team of experts and doctors should discuss such concerns to take remedial actions.

Dr Mohd Saleem Farooqui

Collect patients’ feedback

The administration should take strict action against the hospital management and responsible employees as their negligence led to a patient’s death. Administrative officials should regularly visit hospitals. Besides, there is a need for discreet inspections by undercover officials to monitor infrastructure, functioning and staff’s behaviour. The management should collect feedback from patients and their attendants and take remedial measures to improve services.

Sahleen Kaur

Resolve issue of staff shortage on priority

In an unfortunate incident, a road accident victim fell from a stretcher while awaiting treatment at the Civil Hospital. A few months ago, a wrong body was cremated due to the carelessness of officials of the Mortuary Department of the same hospital. The Senior Medical Officer (SMO) of the hospital attributed the incidents to acute staff crunch, untrained house surgeons and heavy patient load. However, the inquiry conducted by a panel, which was headed by the Deputy Commissioner, found that lack of control and supervision on the SMO’s part. Besides, there is a need to resolve the problem of staff shortage on a priority and only well trained doctors with sufficient clinical experience should be appointed. There should be an adequate number of house surgeons throughout the day. The provision of evening rounds by specialists should be strictly enforced and all the healthcare staff should be trained to deal with emergencies. The total number of beds should be increased to deal with the huge rush of patients, including beds with railings on the side for unconscious patients. The SMO should strictly implement the duty rosters and take appropriate action against late-comers. He should keep a vigil and should be able to assert control over the functioning of the hospital. Efforts should also be made to optimally use the services of doctors, nurses and paramedical staff.


Stretchers with support on sides

We are in the twenty first century, yet we have not been able to resolve problems in the healthcare sector. Patients visit hospitals in the hope of recovering from their diseases. But the infrastructure in many civil hospitals, including Ludhiana, is not in a good condition nor is the supporting staff adequately trained to manage patients. The public should also cooperate with health officials. To avoid incidents of patients falling from stretchers and getting injured, every stretcher should be checked properly and must be fully supported on both sides. Besides, the duty of taking or shifting patients should only be given to well trained and efficient employees.

Farzana Khan

Strict action against negligent staff

An unidentified patient recently died after falling from a stretcher at the Civil Hospital in Ludhiana. The administration should immediately take necessary steps to check such negligence and callous attitude of employees at health centres. There should be strict action taken against people who are found responsible for medical negligence. The administration should conduct frequent inspections at health centres, especially from where such cases of negligence are reported.

Adish Sood

Set up a regulatory body, impart training

A regulatory body should be established for medical professionals to address the issue of medical negligence and doctors should be held accountable for their activities. The regulatory body may be in-charge of examining accusations of medical negligence and taking appropriate action against doctors found to have acted carelessly. It may further establish standards of care for doctors and other healthcare workers and offering training programmes to assist them in avoiding medical errors.

Tamanpreet Kaur Khangura

SMO must ensure SOPs are duly followed

The condition of the Civil Hospital in Ludhiana has remained in the news for the past two weeks since the August 27 incident. The road accident victim could not receive appropriate treatment on time and died after falling from a stretcher. The DC-led committee’s inquiry report is an eye opener on how this health institution is working amid staff shortage and the need to develop its infrastructure. The report pointed out that the Senior Medical Officer (SMO) should ensure that the standard operating procedures (SOPs) are duly followed and patients in all wards receive proper treatment. The government should appoint adequate number of medical and paramedical personnel as per the area’s present population and needs. Healthcare professionals should be sympathetic and sensitive towards patients. The authorities should also conduct training programmes to enhance their technical as well as soft skills. Emergency Medical Officers (EMOs) should be appointed to manage the large number of emergency cases in the city while security staff should be employed to manage crowd and antisocial elements in the hospital.

Sukhdev Sharma


Factories have been allowed to run from residential areas for three more years. These industrial units cause pollution and other problems for residents in Ludhiana. Should the industries be given such amnesty or what else needs to be done to address the problem?

Suggestions in not more than 100 words can be sent to [email protected] by Thursday (September 21)

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