After dark, rooms at Golden Rock Railway Hospital turn into permit rooms, without the permit of course. With the apparent free flow of liquor, some patients have a ball.
Relatives of patients have found empty liquor bottles inside bathrooms of the hospital, especially after a newly constructed block housing the surgical ward was inaugurated. The tipplers had evidently been drinking in the unused building.
There have also been complaints that patients were found intoxicated.
The 197-bed divisional hospital, set up in 1927 by (then) South Indian Railway, is manned by 15 doctors. Specialists from the Zonal Railway Hospital in Perambur, Chennai, visit occasionally. The hospital treats mostly blue-collar workers from the rail workshop.
A relative of a patient in the general ward said she was “shocked to see a bottle of liquor inside a patient’s bag. He consumes it when he goes out for short walks. A youth who attends to the old man supplies him with the booze.” The intoxicated man makes strange noises at night, disturbing the sleep of other patients, she said.
A staff nurse also raised the concern. She told Express that there were habitual drinkers undergoing treatment for various ailments, who could not stay away from the bottle even while on medication, “so they do it in secret.”
Speaking to Express, Senior Divisional Medical Officer Dr R Soundararajan expressed inability to curb the problem as staff could not be expected to do a complete sweep of patients’ belongings every now and then.