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Several issues in Anantapur Government General Hospital hitting patients hard

Several issues in Anantapur Government General Hospital  hitting patients hardA view of gynaecology ward at GGH in Anantapur
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The ailing grand old Government General Hospital (GGH) needs a ‘Kayakalpa’. It's mentally corrupt class four employees harassing poor patients for tips for every service which requires special treatment.

Anantapur: The ailing grand old Government General Hospital (GGH) needs a 'Kayakalpa'. It's mentally corrupt class four employees harassing poor patients for tips for every service which requires special treatment.

Occasional negligent attitude of nurses and doctors on one hand and the government's apathy towards practical problems including filling medical staff vacancies and poor budgetary allocation are adding to the woes of the patients.

Scarcity of medicines, age-old medical equipment and non-availability of raw material like cement filling in Dental department for months are a few of its several problems. Bed strength is inadequate and is not in proportion with the increased patient population.

Doctors, nurses and other para-medical staff are working under intense pressure everyday with hands tied amidst severe staff shortage and budgetary constraints. The annual budget for medicines in GGH is Rs 3.84 crore.

The hospital staff are stressed out due to work pressure caused by patients, who have grown by 300 per cent in the past 17 years. The staff appointed to serve 350 patients are serving 1,200 patients everyday apart from 2,000 out-patients.

The nearly 700 infant deaths registered in the last 6 months which drew the attention of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy have once again woken up all concerned to highlight the grim staff position and the ever-increasing patient strength. The hospital has only 168 doctors out of 241 doctors' strength. Seventy-three doctor posts are lying vacant.

A mere 134 nurses are working out of 510 nurses' strength. There are 57 male nurses and 44 female nurses, sweepers 65, ward assistants 35, operation theatre staff 12, laboratory technicians 12 and lab attendants 12. In the year 2000, the then TDP government issued a GO No 134 upgrading the district hospital to general hospital but the GO was not implemented by the governments in the past 17 years.

The hospital is operating with a strength of 350 beds. After its upgradation to general hospital, the bed strength increased to 500 but the staff strength was not proportionately increased. Over the years, the in-patients have had increased to 1,200 per day. As per the GO No 134, 510 new posts were sanctioned, of them 134 staff nurses' posts were not filled. One staff nurse is catering to 100-150 patients and one attender is catering to 3-4 wards.

Many doctors working in GGH are running their private nursing homes. Private nursing homes and hospitals are virtually looting poor and middle-class patients, who are coming for better medical care.

After looting the patients for days, they are sending them to government hospitals when the later are turning critical, just to save themselves from the disrepute of patients dying in their hospitals.

There are hundreds of complaints against class four staff, who are refusing services if one declines to grease their palms. The transfer policy towards class four employees needs to change as service rules forbid the administration to transfer them out of district.

The new hospital superintendent Dr Babulal when contacted told The Hans India that he would revamp the hospital administration and take action on all erring staff demanding bribes and submit a report to government on the hospital requirements.

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