PATIENT INFLUX UP 36 %, INFRASTRUCTURE OBSOLETE
Srinagar, May 10: Notwithstanding a 36 % increase in patient influx at Government Medical College and its associated hospitals in the City in past decade, the infrastructure hasn’t been accordingly upgraded –affecting the healthcare due to overburden.
Official figures reveal the number of patients who visited the Out Patient Department in 2008-09 at eight GMC associated hospitals is 12, 64,006 up by 3, 42, 751 than what it was in 1999.
The patient influx to the In-patient Department has also increased by 24331 during the period to 125142 in 2008-09. This makes a total increase of 3, 67, 082 visitors to both OPD and IPD at the hospitals.
But for this rush of patients, the GMC hospitals have a total of 2115 beds, which the experts feel is insufficient. These include 570 beds in Gynecology and Obstetrics, 350 beds for chest disease patients, 262 beds in general medicine, 262 beds in surgery, 150 in Orthopedics, 130 in Pediatrics, 100 in Psychiatry, 70 in Casualty, 66 in Ophthalmology, 53 in ENT, 30 in Isolation, 30 in Dermatology, 8 in Radio therapy and 4 in Dentistry.
The situation at Valley’s sole maternity hospital, the Lal Ded and the premier health centre SMHS should exemplify the “under-strength bed capacity” where the patients are often seen sharing beds.
Senior Consultant Urologist, Dr Mufti Mehmood, who is the General Secretary of Medical Faculty Association—an amalgam of faculty of GMC associated hospitals—has more to reveal.
“The bed strength is alarmingly low in the (GMC associated) hospitals so much so that we don’t have proper post operative facilities there. The problem is that patient rush has increased both quantitatively and qualitatively and the infrastructure, which has been conceived by our fore fathers, is proving to be insufficient,” said Dr Mehmood.
The plight of the overcrowded OPDs, on the other hand, is for everybody to see.
The patients coming from far-off areas have to wait in long queues from morning till evenings.
“Until recently when the new medical causality block was opened in SMHS, even the patients having suffered a heart attack had to wait in the queue in OPD,” said a senior doctor at SMHS.
The disproportionate infrastructure affects the number of surgeries conducted as well. Observers said the surgery figure didn’t increase proportionately with the inflow.
“It stays somewhere around 4000 mark a year and never grew proportionately,” said a source.
Experts said the surgical units run short of equipments. Dr Mehmood said the surgery department lacks equipments and infrastructure to improve on its performance.
He said the patients have to wait for months together to undergo surgery.
“Lack of equipments is not only limiting our performance but it is also overburdening the resources which poses a serious threat to efficiency of healthcare. A patient requiring a cold surgery has to wait for several months to get a date,” he said.
The consultant added the government has taken “some” steps for upgradation of the hospitals quickly adding that “but more needs to be done.”
“Government needs to take health sector development on war footing basis,” he said.
The Principal GMC, Dr Shahida Mir, however, refused to accept the infrastructure hasn’t developed proportionately to increased patient influx.
“The infrastructure is improving correspondingly. We have increased bed strength in SMHS, LD,” she said.
The GMC Principal admitted that lack of workforce had been a constraint in coping up with the patient rush. “But that too is likely to go as government has commissioned new posts.”
Lastupdate on : Mon, 10 May 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 10 May 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 11 May 2010 00:00:00 IST
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