Government Veterinary Hospitals not open 24×7

Agriculture City Health

Shortage of doctors, funds, and other logistical issues, restrict veterinary hospitals from working round the clock.

Veterinary hospitals in Bengaluru are not open 24×7, and close by 5:30 pm and sometimes even 4 pm. Most hospitals do not have any contact numbers mentioned on Google search and a few that do, do not pick up the calls.

 In rural areas, these hospitals are inaccessible as they are far away from the village.

Despite receiving 70-90 calls after 6 pm, every day the hospitals and animal care centers have difficulty functioning after 6 pm.

Deblina, a pet parent of a Golden Retriever in Bengaluru said, “The government hospitals are hardly open, and don’t have enough doctors.” She further said, “We are pretty helpless because the numbers aren’t always available and if they are, people do not pick up.”

Advocate Alwyn Sebastian, an animal rights lawyer said, “There is no law that mandates veterinary hospitals to be open 24×7, unlike those hospitals of humans, but it will be beneficial to have 24×7 veterinary hospitals. It would be great for government hospitals to push for this timing.”

Dr. Chandrasekhar, the Chief Veterinary Officer (Admin), Vasant Nagar mentioned that the 35 hospitals that come under the North Taluk and Yelahanka Taluk, are only open between 9 am and 4 pm, with a one-hour lunch break. He added that in rural areas if needed, doctors can be contacted for night visits.

The lack of manpower, funds, and space is another reason for hospitals not being accessible 24×7.

Suparna Ganguly, the co-founder trustee of Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA), said that hospitals not being open 24×7 causes a huge inconvenience, especially since it deprives animals of timely and urgent veterinary care. She added, “After 6 pm, we get more than 70-90 calls every day. However, we close between 5:30 pm and 6 pm.”

Dr. Rajan, a government veterinary doctor from Kengeri said, “Not all the government hospitals function 24×7 because the government has given us fixed timings, and in case of emergencies, people with animals can visit the Queen’s hospital at the Cantonment, which is the only hospital that functions 24×7.” “If people require emergency assistance they can visit private clinics, if they need government services then they can go to the Cantonment hospital,” he added.

Farmers with cattle in villages are facing issues as nearby veterinary hospitals are more than 5 km away and they are not open 24×7.

  • Despite getting almost 70 calls after 6 pm, veterinary hospitals do not function after 6 pm.

Basavaraj, a farmer from Devagere village at Kengeri said, “I just lost a cow last week due to health problems. The nearest hospital is at Gonipura, which is almost 5 km away. It is extremely stressful for us when we lose animals.”

Mahalakshmi, who works at a farm in Devagere said, “We need big hospitals like the Hebbal hospital since the Gonipura hospital cannot accommodate too many large cattle.”

Dr. Dheeraj Kashyap, who runs a pet clinic at Indira Nagar says, “It is not feasible to have 24×7 veterinary hospitals, especially in rural areas because of distance and less manpower.”

Advocate Sebastian added, “In case of emergencies, people can reach out to their known veterinarian and consult them. It is not viable to have a veterinary hospital within a two km radius of all villages as villages are plenty and it doesn’t make practical and logistical sense. But local panchayats can maybe organize weekly visits, or work around this issue in other ways.”