: 2017  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 177--179

Walking through the hospital corridors

Yatish Agarwal1, Bipin Batra2,  
1 Editor-in-Chief, Astrocyte; and Professor of Radiology at New Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital and Vardhman Mahavir Medical College., India
2 Prof. Bipin Batra is Executive Director, National Board of Examinations; and Executive Editor, Astrocyte

Correspondence Address:
Yatish Agarwal
Editor-in-Chief, Astrocyte; and Professor of Radiology at New Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital and Vardhman Mahavir Medical College

How to cite this article:
Agarwal Y, Batra B. Walking through the hospital corridors.Astrocyte 2017;3:177-179

How to cite this URL:
Agarwal Y, Batra B. Walking through the hospital corridors. Astrocyte [serial online] 2017 [cited 2018 Dec 17 ];3:177-179
Available from:

Full Text


Be it public hospitals teeming with people seeking healthcare facilities funded by the public exchequer or swanky corporate hospitals catering to the affluent, it is apparent that healthcare managers in the country are mostly oblivious towards providing the basic infrastructure facilities for their clients—the poor, woe-ridden patient or for their caregivers—who run the risk of suffering a bodily and psychological breakdown while experiencing such terrible times of stress.

Walk, nay crawl, through any public healthcare facility and you would find there is so very little space that not just breaths and body odors, but even the corpus corpora of the human forms must meet and mingle, punctuated with toe-treading, colorful abuses, and sometimes, feisty brawls. If such oppressive mismatches were to occur in an old archaic facility, it would perhaps be understandable since the administrators, architects, and engineers could get the benefit of the doubt that they could not have anticipated such exponential growth in the number of clients visiting the facility. But what of the facilities that have been created in the recent past or are still not off a draftsperson's board? Sadly, little thought seems to go into providing the basics. More strangely still, the end-users—be it the physicians, nurses, or paramedics or the hospital clients—are hardly ever consulted.

Visit the extremely high voltage areas in any hospital like the accident and emergency rooms, ICUs, and HDUs, and mostly, the traffic of trolleys, wheelchairs, and people is as chaotic as on the streets and lanes of Old Delhi. Even the corporate hospitals seem to give little thought to the needs of the people who visit them. Be it the washrooms, seating and resting areas, or eateries and cafeterias. Just as the ailing wait in long serpentine queues for their turn, and families and caregivers must wait on their loved ones as they fight for their breath and lives in critical care units and ICUs, undergo long and risky surgeries, or are being nursed back to health, these elementary facilities are often disregarded, ignored, or are so measly that life becomes an ordeal.

Call on a large public hospital and some of the private ones at night and you would find the floors in corridors, neighboring bus stands, and pavements turn into people's resting ground and quiet hidden areas and walls their peeing fields. Through the day and night, unhygienic, unhealthy street food must serve the hunger pangs of the belly. Finding a parking slot for a vehicle in any hospital during daylight hours is generally no less than a nightmare.

The simple dharma

The big question is must the healthcare sector stay unmindful of these basic necessities for people who are under the greatest stress? Should a nation that takes pride in its long history of civilization, empathy, kindness, altruism, and care—call it dharma if you will—ignore these elementary prerequisites? If nothing else, should philanthropists, corporate conglomerates, religious charities, and do-good individuals not rally to provide succor? If the government of the day can allow public–private partnerships to strengthen and augment the diagnostic and healthcare facilities in public hospitals, should it not allow space and encourage charities to construct washrooms, seating and resting areas, and eateries and cafeterias so that the ill and their caregivers can function healthily.

The time is ripe. A change must be engineered. At first, the attitudes must melt. Investors, healthcare managers, administrators, architects, and engineers must think through people's welfare, even if real estate in the country is far too expensive. A participatory approach, where all players, including end-users, come together can help mitigate the terrible travails of people. We must build facilities that value and honor the dignity of human life, ease stress, and provide the right climate for people to heal and recover.

Hospitals, devoid of basic facilities, can never be the temples of faith and hope. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Swachh Bharat Abhiyan,[1] call it the Clean India Mission if you will, bereft of these rudimentary indispensible changes can never be complete. It shall be a fitting tribute to the Mahatma, the founding father, on his 150th birth anniversary in 2019 that the public hospitals must develop into healing temples replete with all basic amenities.



1Modi N. Launch of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) public campaign. New Delhi: October 2, 2014.