Following the shocking revelation that 11 resident doctors in Sion hospital have contracted tuberculosis (TB) since last year, the municipal body convened an emergency meeting on Sunday to address the issues faced by the medicos.
Sources said that additional municipal commissioner (health) Manisha Mhaiskar called the meeting to tackle the issue of TB cases among doctors and address the problems they face. Last week, the media reported about the apathetic conditions in the Resident Medical Officers (RMO) quarters.
“We know about the 11 reported TB cases, but many cases lay unreported by doctors due to the stigma attached with the disease,” said a resident doctor.
In April, at least five doctors in the hospital were battling with TB. The number swelled to 11 by October-end. Two of these doctors were suffering from multi-drug resistant TB since the last one year.
The deans of BMC-run medical colleges and TB experts mulled over possible ways to mitigate the disastrous situation over the weekend. In the meeting, they discussed the feasibility of allotting the top two floors of a Vikhroli-based civic school building as hostel rooms for the doctors.
But, the doctors argued that they have been given hollow assurances of alternate accommodation since 2009.
The BMC needs to sanction up to Rs80 lakh for civil, electrical and furniture works to refurbish the school into a hostel. The 650 RMOs in Sion hospital are housed in 100 rooms in the RMO quarters and 32 more in the barracks that house doctors opposite the campus.
In spite of repeated appeals, 38 newly constructed rooms on the top floor of the five-storey OPD building, which were reserved as “paid” or VIP rooms, have not been sanctioned to be converted into hostel rooms.
“The doctors have demanded for change in user sanctions. I have made the recommendation to the BMC and a meeting will be convened on November 16,” said Dr Suleiman Merchant, dean, Sion hospital.
Need better food: Medicos
The BMC allots only Rs10 a day for breakfast to resident doctors. Doctors want the sum to be hiked so that they can access nutritious food. “Unhygienic living conditions and lack of proper food make us susceptible to contracting the killer disease,” said a resident doctor.