Osmania Hospital: Desperate for a lifeline

Osmania Hospital: Desperate for a lifeline
Highlights

Osmania Hospital: Desperate for a lifeline. The in-patient block of the OGH, which is a heritage building, doesn’t paint a pretty picture, with its dilapidated ceiling. It is in a rundown state and the ward has to be shifted to a new building to keep the building intact.

“Nenu ranu biddo sircaru davakhanaku” (I will not set foot in a government hospital) is a famed song, which sadly holds true for the age-old Osmania General Hospital (OGH). Dilapidated wards, unhygienic premises, lack of stretchers, wheel chairs, non-working lifts, occasionally working generators…the list goes on. The 1,400-bed hospital which was functioning since 1859, has a footfall of nearly 3,000 patients every day. Operating with 22 departments and 70 units, the hospital is plagued by poor infrastructure.

The in-patient block of the OGH, which is a heritage building, doesn’t paint a pretty picture, with its dilapidated ceiling. It is in a rundown state and the ward has to be shifted to a new building to keep the building intact. There was a proposal to construct a new building with an estimate of Rs 200 crore on the premises itself.

“Heritage Preservation Committee of the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) and few nurses of the hospital have raised objections for the new building,” said sources in the hospital and the proposal has been lying in limbo ever since.

The proposed building is set to come up in place of the nursing building, for which the nurses raised an objection. The then principal secretary (health and welfare) LV Subrahmanyam intervened and the nurses relented.

Fingers are being pointed at the Andhra Pradesh Medical Services and Infrastructure Development Corporation (APMSIDC) for not making things happen.

Refuting the claims, an official of APMSIDC, said, “We proposed to construct a building with ground plus eight floors in a six-acre land with all facilities. But the heritage committee of HMDA gave us permission to construct only ground plus four floors, saying the new building’s height cannot exceed that of the heritage structure.”

“If only four floors are raised, the building cannot accommodate all the wings and cannot contain all the required facilities,” he added.

The new building is only least of the worries at the hospital. There is acute shortage of stretchers in the hospital and wheelchairs are used to carry patients. The wheelchairs are worn out and are inadequate; often one can see relatives of the patients carrying them to the beds and to the labs and theatres.

Most lifts are poorly maintained and they do break down often, leaving no other way but to carry patients in arms. Most patients and the relatives of patients complain about the callous attitude of the ward boys.

“The ward boys are rude not only to us but also to patients. They are hardly seen, when required. Many a time, we carry patients in and out of the wards,” quips Yadagiri, who is nursing his ill brother.

Speaking about lack of stretchers and inadequate wheelchairs, a doctor says, “We need funds from APMSIDC to procure the required. We are helpless until they release funds.”

Power shortages are plaguing the hospital as well, there are generators which hardly function and whenever there is power outage chaos ensues at the hospital.

When Deputy Chief Minister T Rajaiah visited the hospital to launch the vehicle for the free food distribution programme on Tuesday, the staff brought the problems to his notice and he reportedly assured that the government would take stock of things.

There were plans to shift the entire hospital to Cherlapally or Erragadda but nothing has materialised. Officials of the corporation said the new government should take a call on it.

Hospital superintendent C G Raghuram sees the need for a new building. “There is definitely a need to construct a new building before the old building crumbles. At the same time, the heritage structure needs to be preserved.” he said, adding that they had written to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) urging it to renovate the IP Block.

Now it is up to the new government of the state to think of a plan to construct a new building on the existing premises or shift it to some other location.

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