Cleaners trained to help at short-staffed mortuary

Safai karamcharis to work as post-mortem attendants

Staff crunch at the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital mortuary has pushed the authorities to train safai karamcharis for the post of attendants. These attendants have to be present alongside doctors while they conduct autopsies.

The hospital mortuary is suffering not only from severe shortage in Group-B staff or post-mortem attendants but also a lack of qualified doctors.

The post-mortem attendants are required to have basic knowledge in human anatomy.

“However, the Group-D staff or the safai karamcharis are mostly pass-outs of class 8 and do not have a clear idea of the human anatomy. We have to train them so that they can pick up the profiles of that of an attendant, who are at least class 12 pass-outs. Currently, we have only one post-mortem attendant,” said a senior official.

The mortuary, which has a capacity to accommodate up to 50 bodies, is also reeling under pressure with three doctors in the forensic team, said the official.

There is an immediate need to upgrade the staff numbers to handle the current traffic of bodies. In certain medico-legal cases, bodies are kept in cold chambers for almost a month, said doctors.

“While around 22 bodies are accommodated on stretchers in cold rooms, the remaining are put in cold chambers. The maximum traffic of bodies here are of suicide cases and road accidents,” another mortuary official said.

With an average of 1,800 autopsies being conducted in the hospital mortuary annually, there is a need to employ more doctors. 

“Given the number of autopsies conducted, there should be at least 16 doctors in the team. The number of autopsies conducted on any given day varies from 1 to 35. The number of doctors we currently have is inadequate,” said the official.

There is a high attrition rate among the mortuary staff, including doctors. “This is mainly due to lack of incentives. Workers should benefit in certain ways so that they are not reluctant to be part of the mortuary team. Even doctors are reluctant to join the forensic department because they get caught in appearing court cases most of the time,” said Dr Komal Singh, Head of the Department, Forensic Medicine, DDU Hospital.    

“There is a need to provide disaster allowance for workers in the mortuary. They are often working under the most hazardous condition, including handling decomposed bodies which exposes them to infection,” said Dr Singh.

Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi? Who will win the battle royale of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019

Get real-time news updates, views and analysis on Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on 

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram with #DHPoliticalTheatre for live updates on the Indian general elections 2019.

Liked the story?

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0