A modern neuro-intensive ward for stroke victims was thrown open at the hospital recently

Critically underweight newborns sharing a single incubator, defective ventilators, blood pressure and cardio monitors and malfunctioning bright blue fluorescent lights, known as bili lights, used to treat infants with jaundice! Such upsetting images are common whenever one walks into a neonatal intensive care unit at government hospitals.

Making a clean break from such dreary conditions, the recently started neonatal intensive care unit at Gandhi Hospital, developed at a cost of Rs. 1 crore, provides a contrasting picture. The gleaming surface and ceiling are stain-free and smell of fresh disinfectant. The environs are squeaky clean and belie the general perception of government hospitals.

The tidy nursing station has a huge LCD monitor to beam live images of newborns on ventilators in the ICU. Images are also directly transmitted to the respective department heads who monitor the condition of the babies remotely.

Except for the duty nurse and the doctor, just like corporate hospitals, nobody else, including the mother, is allowed inside. Fresh diapers are changed every two hours. Above all, there are no malfunctioning ventilators, bili lights, oxygen hood, respirator and central lines that carry medical gases vital to save critical just born babies.

“It’s not like we don’t have any problems. But, along with problems, there has been a definite improvement in infrastructure in several wings of the hospital. The challenge for us is to make patients, relatives and workers here respect the infrastructure. It’s very easy to spoil machines and litter on the floors because it is a government hospital,” says Dr. S. Mahaboob, Superintendent, Gandhi Hospital.

There are similar scenes at the casualty, which is literally the face of the hospital. The grimy floors and ceiling have been replaced. The emergency wing now has a shiny false ceiling fitted with special lights necessary for casualty. In place of rusty beds, the hospital has acquired hi-tech beds.

A first-of-its-kind neuro-intensive ward with cubicles, blood pressure and cardio monitors and beds for stroke victims was thrown open recently. “These works have been undertaken using funds approved by the hospital development society. The hospital continues to face challenges, but there have been improvements too,” Dr. Mahaboob points out.

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