Vijayawada accident:OMC buses rusting in garage

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Hyderabad:  The death of four medicos from Osmania Medical College (OMC) in an accident of the ill-fated private bus while on the way to Hyderabad from Inter-medics (annual sports meet of undergraduate MBBS students) has exposed how woefully short the college authorities were in making transportation facilities available to them.

This becomes all evident when one takes a look at the four rickety buses that are now standing idle on the OMC campus premises, a couple of them with broken windows, dangling wires, uprooted seats and some with even cobwebs.

Procured over 25 years ago, a couple of them were known to ferry medicos to take them to hospitals for temporary postings as recently as two years ago in the city, are notorious for frequent breakdowns even while travelling small distances.

“Now, not a single bus is in running condition,“ said Dr Giridhar Nayak, a final year MBBS student, who had a miraculous escape as he took a government bus from Amalapuram instead of taking the private bus owned by Dhanunjay Travels that met with the accident on Vijayawada outskirts.

Even seniors are scathing in their criticism as the government’s utter neglect when it comes to providing sufficient transportation facilities for the medicos in state run medical colleges runs deeper. “It’s shocking to see these buses are still around in the campus. They were purchased when I was in my final year MBBS way back in 1992,“ reminisced Dr P Praveen, chairman, Telangana medical joint action committee, critical about lack of budgetary grants to procure quality transport vehicles for using them during long distance educational, sports and other extra-curricular tours.

In fact, there are now growing voic es claiming that the story might have been different had the OMC authorities arranged their own vehicle and a driver to transport the medicos to attend their five-day event, `Inter-medics’ from 9-13 March at Konaseema Institute of Medical Sciences, Amalapuram (East Godavari), 500 kilometres from Hyderabad.

“Forget about lack of budgetary grants, it is surprising how even superintendents of both Osmania General Hospital and Gandhi hospital could not utilise their Hospital Development Society (HDS) funds for procuring transport vehicles. Right now, HDS funds worth Rs 12 crores and Rs 4 crores are lying with both OGH and Gandhi hospitals,“ said Dr R Raghu, a JAC member of Gandhi Hospital.

When contacted, Dr M Ramani, director of medical education (DME), acknowledged the existence of old transport vehicles in state run medical colleges but added that things would change for the better in one month. “Very shortly, all the five government medical colleges in the state would have 10 transport vehicles, two for each college,“ she said.

-From Times of India

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