Mumbai: Forensic surgeons at Nair hospital won’t work Outside 7 hours

Forensic dept doctors said the new attendance rules hinder their work, Nair Hospital
Forensic dept physicians said the new presence rules hinder their work, Nair Hospital

The biometric presence program, introduced at the town’s civic associations, has seemingly pushed the emergency service staff to the verge. Forensic surgeons at Nair hospital have once again dashed off a letter to the dean saying they will henceforth not be functioning beyond the stipulated seven hours. They had sent a similar letter in July last year, soon after biometric presence was released.

Highly-placed sources attached to Nair hospital explained, on Saturday afternoon, the forensic physicians left the hospital after duty hours and refused to come back when advised regarding two bodies which had arrived for autopsy. One was of an 80-year-old guy, who was hit by an unknown vehicle at Kemps Corner on Friday night, along with the other of a girl who had perished in Nair’s casualty ward.

They told the hospital authorities which they had completed their stipulated work (four weeks) on Saturday and that they had already advised the dean of the decision in writing on March 16.

It was just about 2pm when the dean, Dr Ramesh Bharmal, called up the department head Shailesh Mohite, and promised him that the issue would be discussed with Medical Director Dr Avinash Supe, a resident doctor and assistant professor were shipped to conduct the postmortem, together with Dr Mohite himself overseeing the project.

Department officials suggested that instruction at regular MBBS next year courses would get affected due to the, as no lectures could be run during duty hours.   Efforts made to contact Dr Bharmal did not yield any result, however, Dr Mohite confirmed the occasions.

Why are physicians sulking?
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a forensic physician at the hospital explained, “We are already short-staffed. Unlike KEM or Cooper institutions, our forensic division has only five physicians, including a professor, associate professor and lecturers. Three articles are still empty, of which that was chosen refused to select the offer after studying the operating hours. On any particular day, these physicians have to accept obligations, wait courts for trial in medico legal cases and conduct proper examination of victims from child abuse or sexual assault cases. This calls for more duty hours than the stipulated seven,” he explained.

“We asked the admin to eliminate the practice, as each doctor is expected to put in just 39 hours (7 hours per day for 5 days, and 4 hours on Saturdays) a week, instead of the approximate 73 hours per week being put ahead of the biometric program was released. Doctors worked 24-hour spinning changes, including on Sundays,” the doctor added.

He stated, “Our requirement is that we should be compensated or entitled for compensatory leave, for working the extra hours, and that the government is unwilling to acknowledge or discuss, actually after writing official letters. Since there is no response from them, we’re presuming they have accepted our request.”

The forensic surgeon confessed the rules were causing hardship to individuals. Postmortem centers are expected to hand over a body within two hours of receiving them. Today, families of the deceased will unnecessarily have to wait much longer to find the bodies. “The civic government should understand this as opposed to put pressure on the existing handful of team members,” he explained.