HYDERABAD: A hair-raising video showing a pack of stray dogs moving amid patients in the ‘Male Surgical-2 Ward’ at the state-run Osmania General Hospital (OGH) went viral on social media on Wednesday morning.
The video, which was first circulated on WhatsApp groups, was tweeted by a Congress leader on Wednesday tagging Telangana chief minister’s office (CMO) as well as KT Rama Rao, minister for IT and municipal administration and urban development.
On Wednesday afternoon, when TOI visited the hospital, though the premises were clean, cats could be spotted in the hospital’s corridors.
Doctors and patients too admitted to seeing dogs and cats lurking inside the wards on a regular basis.
“If you happen to spend some time in the hospital, you are sure to see dogs and cats loitering around in the corridors. Whenever they get a chance, they enter the wards. It is a scary situation, especially when dogs come too close in the night,” said a patient in the post-operative ward.
While OGH authorities admitted that the hospital was indeed dogged by a canine menace, they claimed it could be an old video.
OGH superintendent Dr B Nagender said the issue of dogs entering the hospital premises had been taken up with the municipal corporation and had been curtailed to some extent. “GHMC workers visit the hospital every three days and take away stray dogs. We are also taking precautions to prevent the entry of stray animals. I think the video might be an old one.”
He, however, admitted that since the hospital is spread over a huge area and has multiple entry points, with one wall on the dhobi ghat side even broken, dogs do continue to come walk in occasionally.
The long-pending canine menace remains untamed despite several similar videos doing the rounds on social media. “Dogs and cats are a known source of infections for patients. Everyone knows about the problem, but no one accepts it. Even the staff members have got used to the sight and do not make any attempts to drive them away,” said a doctor speaking on condition of anonymity.
Talking about the video that first surfaced three days ago on a WhatsApp group, Dr PS Vijayender Goud, president, Junior Doctors’ Association Osmania Medical College (JUDA-OGH) said, “This isn’t the first video showing dogs and cats in the wards. It is, in fact, very common to find cats in the wards even during day time. The number of stray dogs has come down these days but they still put in an appearance 5-6 times a month,” he said.
TIMES VIEW: The issue of stray dogs entering state-run hospital wards have not been addressed at all by the government, instead of various departments engaging in a blame game. The GHMC’s veterinary wing must be roped in and the dogs in hospitals sterilised to control indiscriminate breeding, Guards should also be in place, specially at night, to stop the canines from entering the wards.