The road to motherhood is fraught with risks for women visiting the two government maternity hospitals in the city, says a recent study by women’s group ‘Stree Vimukti Sanghatana’. A report detailing the matter was presented to Principal Secretary, Health, L.V. Subramanyam on Monday.

The study reveals the appalling conditions prevalent at the teaching hospitals at Petla Burz and Koti, which are frequented by poor pregnant women from Old City as well as those from Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda, Ranga Reddy, Medak and Nizamabad districts. Patients also come from outside the State’s borders.

An outpatient at Petla Burz who requires a simple check-up should arrive a day prior to the procedure and stand in a queue from 6 a.m. The hospital receives 500 to 600 antenatal cases every day- fresh and old. The limit being only 100 fresh cases per day, those over and above the limit are turned away.

The diagnostic laboratory being run within the premises by the Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM) closes by 12 p.m., and if the outpatient fails to provide samples on the same day, she will be forced to approach private labs, or wait till next day.

There is only one scanning machine and no blood bank though anaemia is common. A minimum of 600 inpatients fight for the 462 beds every day, forcing many a woman to deliver on the floor. The MICU here is devoid of any equipment for emergency.

Similar conditions prevail at the Koti hospital. Though the OP is usually a one-day affair, patients are forced to stay on the roads for a week, till all the tests are done and the reports arrive.

Complicated cases in both hospitals are referred to the OGH or Niloufer Hospital, as there is no neonatal care unit.

Though a building and equipment have been readied for a neonatal unit in Koti, its inauguration has been pending for a year, the report said. Both hospitals are grossly understaffed and dreadful in terms of sanitation.

“Whenever someone dies, newspapers blame doctors and the latter blame pregnancy-related complications. The inadequacy of these hospitals to handle complications is totally ignored,” noted SVS’ secretary M. Lakshmi,

Further, the unusual rush at the referral teaching hospitals only points to the failure of primary and secondary healthcare in villages and district headquarters. If the system is strengthened bottom-up, then the teaching hospitals will have scope to focus on research, she says.

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