Stray dogs have a free run in SCB Medical College- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

CUTTACK: Patients admitted to the SCB Medical College and Hospital (SCBMCH) here not only have to fight disease but also stray dogs. The dogs roam freely around the wards and also have access to hospital bathrooms and toilets.

The 2,164-bed hospital has 37 departments. Equipped with best doctors, the hospital is regarded as the premier Government-run referral hospital of the State. At least 6,000 patients visit the outpatient department (OPD) of the hospital every day while the number of indoor patients is over 2,500.
However, attendants and family members of the patient have to remain vigilant at all times to avoid a dog bite.

The situation is, especially, grim in Surgery, Medicine and Gynaecology and Obstetrics wards. Despite deployment of 408 security guards who have been performing 24-hour duty in three shifts, the stray dogs cannot be prevented from entering corridors and wards of the hospital.

Five years ago in 2014, a stray dog had eaten out a portion of a foot of a dead HIV+ve patient inside the septic ward of the Surgery department. The incident was also brought to the notice of the Odisha Human Right Commission (OHRC). But, despite repeated complaints by the attendants, no action has been taken to curb the menace.

Stray dogs rummaging through the unattended hospital waste is a common sight. Sometimes the dogs are also found pulling out surgical and anatomical waste such as body parts and organs from the bins and eating those in full public view.

“There is no security for patients and their attendants in the hospital where stray dogs can be seen roaming close to them. So much so that the animals may times are snatching diet from patients. We are facing a dangerous situation especially during the time breakfast, lunch and dinner are served,” said an attendant Debadatta Puhan at the Surgery ward.

Hospital Superintendent Saroj Kanta Sahoo said he would direct the hospital manager to take necessary steps to prevent the entry of stray dogs.

“We will also ask the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) to catch and shift the strays dogs from the campus,” he said. 

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