Higher health authorities sit on a number of S.D. Eye Hospital proposals

Hard to believe, but true. During monsoons and winters, surgeons of Government-run Sarojini Devi (SD) Eye Hospital are unable to conduct surgeries because of shortage of clean linen. This is forcing them to cancel surgeries and refer patients to private eye care centres.

Infrastructure weakness at the hospital is also hindering surgeons from taking up costly eye surgeries that could be performed in a cost-effective way in a government set-up.

Reputation on the wane

The hospital, which once had the reputation of being the largest eye-care centre in South India, is now struggling to purchase even basic equipment, leave alone high-end machines, required to manage its day to day activities.

Since a decade, the hospital does not have an automated laundry machine of its own. It depends on two washermen, instead of the required 10 to wash its linen.

During winters and monsoons, when the sun does not come out frequently, the hospital linen does not dry quickly forcing surgeons to postpone or refer patients to private facilities.

A proposal to set-up a laundry machine is pending for a long time.

The hospital does not even have a dedicated ambulance to transport patients during emergencies. “We have been fighting hard for these basic requirements for a long time. We are open to private organisations, who can volunteer and donate for a noble cause,” says Superintendant, S. D. Eye Hospital, Dr. P.V. Nanda Kumar.

The outpatient facilities too are hampered. The hospital does not have basic instruments like Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) required to take high-resolution images of retina to detect ailments. As a result, patients are referred to private centres for such tests.

Viterectomy machines

According to the hospital surgeons, the hospital also requires Viterectomy machines to perform minor surgeries of the retina, high resolution microscopes with video-recording capability, a phaco machine needed to take up cataract surgeries.

The hospital surgeons are capable of performing high-end surgeries to treat near and far sightedness. “For such surgeries, we are waiting for a lasik machine,” surgeons said.

The hospital authorities have sent numerous proposals to acquire medical equipment but the higher health authorities have so far not approved any of the proposals.

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