Back to the basics
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Back to the basics

Hospitals have the doctors, paramedics, nurses, orderlies, beds, operation theatres, ambulances, wheel chairs, labs and amenities that are meant to give patients the best of services and treatment.

Hospitals have the doctors, paramedics, nurses, orderlies, beds, operation theatres, ambulances, wheel chairs, labs and amenities that are meant to give patients the best of services and treatment. One of the most important facility, howsoever least prioritized and most unattended in our valley hospitals, is the toilet facility that a patient requires more than his oxygen supply line fixed on the walls over the bed line. Imagine hospitals that do not have toilet facility for patients! Patients would not die of disease but would pray for their death. The humiliation associated with pestering foul smell and bursting abdominal pain will be hard to carry than the pain of actual sickness.  Imagine the orthopedic hospital without an 'elevated toilet seat' or 'four legged commode' for patients admitted with broken lower limbs or foot bones! 

Sir John, Jani, was enjoying slight drizzle during an evening walk along the bank of Dal lake when he heard his friend calling him from other side of the road. Jani, excited on seeing his friend after a long time, turned and without a blink jumped off the pavement to cross the road. When he reached middle of the road, he saw a fast car zooming towards him. His eyes bulged out in bewilderment, his hands in air, legs trembling and his right foot circled on the wet road to push his body around. With an effort to reach back to pavement, he lost his balance and slipped over his right leg in the middle of road. Driver of the car, almost standing over the brakes, gripping his steering hard, screeched the wheels to save Jani. But as ill luck would have it, left wheel of car jumped over the stretched out lower part of his right leg, breaking the bones, tibia and fibula, exactly into two halves.  

Jani opened his eyes in the 'Bone and Joint hospital', after his bones had been surgically fixed and plastered over. Doctors advised Jani to stay in hospital for some days and to be careful with this leg for the bones are fragile with steel rods and clips holding them together. Jani could not sleep for the whole night. He was terribly distressed with severe pain in his leg. After awful night, another pain started troubling Jani in the morning. His contorted facial lines and his hip movements suggested his friend, who was standing by the side of his bed, that he is uneasy due to the call of nature. Jani's friend asked Jani to ease himself out in the lavatory. Jani adjusted his frame over the edge of the bed. His friend placed a crutch under his armpit and held the other arm around his shoulders to support his way to the single lavatory available outside four general wards at the corner of corridor. When Jani reached there he found it occupied. Jani cursing his luck went back with great efforts to his bed. After some time Jani again attempted to try his luck, but to his chagrin, a lady was washing something under the running broken tap near the toilet seat, Jani had to return to his bed disappointed. He was constantly shuffling his body and holding his hands tight to his tummy. He now forgot the pain of his broken limb, the other pain turned out to be an efficient analgesic and now he understood why the hospital has deliberately been deprived of the facility. Now Jani's friend thought to keep an eye on the door of lavatory. The moment it opened he picked Jani to take him to the toilet. While he was limping towards the lavatory,  a small child came running, shove him to the side, entered into toilet and slammed the door on his face. 

Frustrated Jani, by now not able to control his bowels, decided to wait near the door. Puffing long packets of oxygen and exhaling almost his lungs out, he found a way in this to relieve uneasiness of the situation. As soon as the relaxed boy came out adjusting his clothes, Jani angrily slapped him on the nape of his neck and entered into the toilet. He was surprised to see a metal seat on the floor instead of an elevated commode inside the chamber. He did not know how to sit on the flat toilet seat with his broken leg. He cursed the engineers and the architects of the hospital who did not have common sense to design the toilet in an orthopedic hospital. He, being desperate, decided to sit on one leg while stretching the other. Once he lowered his body, he could not balance his weight and slipped into hole of the toilet seat fracturing his left leg. With the instant reflex he stretched his hand down to save his head but sloshed his fingers and palm into sticky droppings of the child who had visited before him. After half an hour he managed to crawl out only to find people pinching their nostrils away from him and doctors refusing to treat his another fracture for his excreta sodden clothes and foul smelling body. 

(The writer is a post-graduate in Management Studies from the University of Kashmir)

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