GMC Goa’s Apex medical college is always in the news due to mismanagement and this time it is due to lack of water supply the Patients are suffering, they have to carry water cans from home, in some cases, event toilets are kept locked making the life more difficult for the patients. The recent news of VIP culture and water supply made it clear that even the government’s biggest medical facility made for the common man is suffering due to lack of water.   

Tiswadi has been suffering due to lack of water for the six days following the pipeline burst at Ponda, and the scene at GMC is one of chaos. Patients and their relatives can be seen carrying heavy cans of water from home and relying on packaged drinking water for all purposes, cleaning staff transporting buckets on wheelchairs and trolleys and people running helter-skelter in search of a clean, unlocked toilet.

A patient’s mother was complaining about having to bring water from home and it was difficult for her daughter to manage, given that she’s admitted in the gynecology ward.

Other relatives were seen carrying five-liter mineral water bottles for patients admitted inwards. Given the demand, all the canteens and shops outside GMC ran out of packaged drinking water.

Large stacks of one-liter bottles were prominently displayed in shops outside the hospital as well as in the pharmacies.

The toilets in the new GMC block were stinking as they had run out of the water and the cleaning staffs were trying their best to keep toilets clean “as and when they received water” 

The OPD block receives hundreds of visitors each day, but only the men’s room was kept open to the public and women were inconvenienced as they couldn’t relieve themselves. The washroom for men was also in a sorry condition given that there was little water to spare.

A cleaning staff, speak about the locked women’s toilet stated that it was filthy as there was no water and had to be kept locked.

Female patients from other wards were seen searching for a clean toilet to use in the hospital. One patient with walking difficulty, relied on her relative to help her, and walked all the way from the gynecology ward 129 to the OPD, all the while clutching her stomach, but was disappointed and disgusted to find the women’s toilet locked and the men’s toilet filthy.

She told TOI that she had not been able to relieve herself since morning as the toilet in the ward was too dirty as there was no water.  She continued to search for a toilet even though her relative tried to convince her to use the men’s toilet.

Though many women were hesitant at first to use the men’s toilet, seeing other women use it they too joined the queue.  Adding to the problem was the inexistent lock on the inside of the men’s stall, and many women were upset after walking in on men using the toilet.

All the toilets, baths and urinals at the Sulabh Shouchalya complex within the GMC premises had a sign saying ‘No Water, Pani Nahi’  put up on the locked gate of the complex.

Relatives of patients tried convincing the sulabh shouchalya staffs that they needed to bathe. One of the staff members while bargaining with the women informed them it wasn’t possible for them to have a bath, but he could allow them in only if they wanted to urinate. He also said that they could not afford to pay Rs. 4000/- for a tanker.

One of the doctors told TOI that they had to rely heavily on alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Much as they do use hand sanitizers they also wash their hands a lot. In this situation they were forced to rely on hand sanitizers, to keep clean.  Operation theatres had a supply of water and some wards managed to source their water from them.

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