Following the case of the missing dead body of Aldona youth Januz Gonsalves from the GMC (Goa Medical College) morgue, the lapses in the administration of the Goa’s biggest medical facility came under the scanner. There were several developments suggested by the authorities to improve the functionality of morgue and eradicate the possibility of goof up’s in the future. But it looks like the government has not taken the matter seriously as yet. The news of GMC morgue lacking space for the dead bodies due to the constant body dumping by cops have brought the GMC once more into the limelight.
According to the news published by the TOI the 108 cabinet mortuary of GMC including the mass casualty facility with the capacity of holding 35 bodies has reached to its maximum capacity leaving the 12 cabinets which remained unoccupied.
The sources have revealed that as many as 97 bodies at Bambolim based Medical College belongs to various police stations in Goa.
The GMC morgue is divided into three sections, namely A, B and C, and all the sections are occupied by bodies coming from various police stations in Goa. All the bodes are kept in the morgue after the post-mortem.
According to the sources, there are bodies of foreign nationals from German, Russian and Nigerian lying at the morgue for over two years.
There is a serious need of disposing of the bodies to make space for the new bodies and if that does not happen, they will have to turn away people who come to GMC to preserve bodies.
The department of forensic medicine and toxicology’s in-charge, Dr. Andre Fernandes, confirmed that there are currently few empty cabinets in the morgue. However, he refused to comment on other aspects of the morgue.
Meanwhile, the health minister of Goa has said that he will be soon having a joint meeting with the police and the district collectors to sort out the issue. “There were clear instructions from chief minister Manohar Parrikar a while ago for speedy disposal of bodies and a fund provision was also made. The problem is arising due to the delays by authorities in disposing of police bodies,” he told the media.
The only concern, however, haunting the authorities at the moment is the repetition of the Junaz Gonsalves Episode as the bodies brought by police have been kept in three different sections of the morgue.
It may be recalled that the morgue authorities had handed over the body of Aldona youth Junaz Gonsalves to Municipal staff to dispose off as unclaimed body one Vishant Naik which was lying down in the morgue for more than three years “Naik’s body is still at the morgue,” said the sources, adding that It stayed here for three years, we don’t know how long it will remain here.
The sources have revealed that in the normal circumstances, police is suppose to take away the bodies within 15 days of the post-mortem, but they leave them at the morgue for years together. Even the mass casualty section which is mean for keeping bodies for some time has been filled up with the dead bodies.
“The GMC has also been using the facility for a while. With bodies at the facility, it has not been possible to shut it down for regular maintenance since the last six months,” another source said. If air-conditioning fails in any section at the morgue, there will be no place to shift the bodies, the source said.
Under such circumstances, the possibilities of goof up cannot be ruled out. “The body goof happened because the staff was forced to shift bodies due to the breakdown of cabinets. Now that bodies are being placed in all sections of the morgue, there should not be another such incident,” the source said.
Autopsies are still conducted at the old morgue, as the drainage system of the new morgue is yet to be fixed. “It stinks when autopsies are conducted at the new hall as the drainage is not in order. The GSIDC is aware of it, but it is yet to be fixed,” the source said.
The existing hospital and various facilities at the GMC are at the highly pathetic condition and the Government under the guidance of health minister spending money on building separate facility (500 bedded hospital) on Kadamba Plateau. This is how our government functions making the use of taxpayer’s money. What are your views on this serious issue??