GURVINDER SINGH
[email protected]
Kolkata, 4 October
The department of endocrinology at Nil Ratan Sarkar(NRS) Hospital which could have been a feather in the cap of the state government has been forced to survive in hell-like conditions, thanks to the apathy of the health officials.
The three-storey endocrinology department which treats people with hormonal and metabolic disorders, most common among them being diabetes and thyroid,  has been suffering from the lack of infrastructure. 
More than 200 persons on an average come here for treatment, but they have to walk all the way to the top floor in the absence of an escalator.
"People with diabetes and hypertension are at a risk of having cardiac arrest due to excess perspiration, but no arrangements have been made for them," rued  a senior staff member of the department. But the woe doesn’t end here. The building has no potable water facility for the visitors, which they desperately look for after climbing the staircase.
"We have appealed to the hospital officials numerous times to arrange water for the people, but to no avail." he added.
"It is hard to imagine a health department without the facility of water which patients require desperately. The situation is totally pathetic," said Mr Rohit Jaiswal, an septuagenarian.   
It’s not only the visitors who suffer, but also the department staff has been forced to survive in inhumane conditions.
"There are no ventilators in either of the rooms giving rise to furnace like atmosphere. The absence of the air-conditioners in the laboratory has been affecting the functioning of machines which may lead to inaccurate results," said a senior staff member on condition of anonymity.
Sources said, the department has sought for two latest machines to reduce the time taken for tests of thyroid and other disorders, but is yet to be provided.
Moreover, the absence of an indoor unit has been forcing the doctors to send patients elsewhere.
"We could have been the centre of excellence in endocrinology, but the apathy shown by the government has forced us to survive in deplorable conditions," said a senior doctor. 
When contacted, the principal of NRS, Prof Srikanta Purakayastha said: " We would start the indoor unit by this year. Steps would be taken to provide better facilities to the patients visiting the department."