Government Chest Hospital has not lived up to the tag of being a ‘general’ hospital

Strange but true. The Government General and Chest Hospital, Erragadda, is not able to provide ventilator facilities to its patients despite having three such life-saving machines.

Doctors cannot use the devices, thanks to the lack of a proper building to house them. The hospital is devoid of internal pipelines to supply oxygen to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), where the ventilators are kept.

Also, the hospital has no dedicated power lines to support high-end medical equipment. In addition, there is shortage of anaesthetists who have to be present round the clock in the ICU to monitor patients who are on ventilator support. Till recently, there were 11 anaesthetists, but the number has dwindled to just two, authorities say.

As a result, patients who need ventilator support are referred to Osmania General Hospital (OGH) and Gandhi Hospitals. The Chest Hospital, in fact, has not managed to live up to the tag of being a ‘general’ hospital.

Curiously, the proposal in 2008 to construct a general hospital on the 62-acre campus has remained on paper. The main hospital building, which was constructed during the Nizam’s time, was declared unfit for occupation by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) in 2010.

“We are desperate for the general hospital project to come to fruition. The building is dilapidated, and any improvement will come only when a modern general hospital is built,” says hospital superintendent Dr. P.N.S. Reddy.

The inadequacies have a bearing on the number of patients visiting the hospital. While it used to receive up to 500 patients a day, the number has dwindled to 200. In the last 18 months, the hospital authorities approached higher health authorities on six different occasions requesting them to hasten the general hospital project.

Moreover, doctors have demanded that a portion of the 62-acre campus be sold to raise funds to construct the Rs. 180 crore general hospital with the latest medical infrastructure. “We are hoping that a decision to provide enough funds to start the new project as soon as possible is taken up,” Dr. Reddy added. It

was in 2008 that then Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy proposed the general hospital project.

It was envisaged that the hospital would cater for poor families in Kukatpally, Miyapur, Gachibowli, Shamshabad, Rajendranagar and Patancheru.

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