Lactating mothers and pregnant women share the beds at the old government general hospital in Vijayawada
Lactating mothers and pregnant women share the beds at the old government general hospital in Vijayawada

Vijayawada: Pregnant women, nursing women and attendants who stay at the old Government General Hospital (GGH) to take care of patients are facing many hardships due to congestion, shortage of beds and staff at the hospital. 

Since, it is the only maternity government hospital in the city, every day not less than 30 women are admitted to the hospital for treatment and deliveries. 

The hospital has registered 7,595 deliveries in 2017 and 7,854 in 2016. In 2018, up to July, 4,289 deliveries were recorded in the hospital. This is more than 600 per month on an average. In January, 514 deliveries took place in the hospital and the figure rose to 705 in July, 2018.

The figure may further increase in future.  Dr Madhavi, assistant medical officer, said the hospital authorities were struggling to serve the patients due to shortage of doctors and nurses. She said more PG students, doctors and assistant professors were required to treat the patients properly. 

As the Old GGH is centrally located in the city and the government is distributing baby kit free of cost and arranging a vehicle Talli Pilla express to reach home after the delivery, several thousands of families are opting for the hospital for delivery. Adequate medicines and ventilators are available in the hospital. Most importantly, there is no fee for the delivery. 

Keeping in view the free services available, more than 600 pregnant women are getting admitted to the hospital for delivery every month. But, the government is neglecting the development of the hospital. It has allotted only 90 beds to the hospital.

To cope with the huge increase in the number of patients, the hospital authorities have arranged 150 more beds unofficially.  Consequently, the hospital wards became very congested and there is no sufficient space to walk or sit.   Attendants, who are coming along with the pregnant women are left without space to sit or sleep.

The condition of pregnant women and nursing mothers is horrible. Two women are sharing one bed due to shortage of beds. Some time, three women are also sharing one bed. 

K Ramanamma, mother of a pregnant woman, said the plight of pregnant women and attendants at the hospital was miserable. She alleged that the TDP government was grossly neglecting the development of the hospital particularly in terms of beds and staff. 

Hospital superintendent Dr Babulal said recruiting staff and increasing beds was not in their hands. He said efforts were on to resolve the problems being faced by the hospital doctors and patients. When the Congress was in rule, Opposition TDP pilloried the Congress for the poor facilities at the hospital. Now, more than four years have passed after the TDP came to power, but the hospital is yet to see any development.

The TDP government decided to construct another block on the hospital premises. But the construction works are yet to be taken up. 
The death of a 28-year-old woman P Swathi after falling from the bed caused uproar in the hospital as the family members and opposition parties staged dharna from afternoon till evening on Tuesday. 

Now, the doctors say construction of new block at the earliest is one solution to the problem of shortage of beds.  Another option is allotment of one floor in the newly built block at the New GGH. The government has constructed new block for super specialty services in the new GGH.  

But, neither the super specialty services have commenced nor the required staff appointed so far. The building has been kept idle for the last several months. If the maternity hospital is shifted to new GGH, pregnant women and nursing women can get better services.

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