The foundation stone for the Rajiv Intensive Care block at Niloufer Hospital was laid in January 2009 by late Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy. Since then, the block, which could have augmented the hospital bed strength to 1,000 from the existing 450, is mired in bureaucratic delays.
Senior hospital officials point out that even if the block was completed on time, maintaining such a massive block would have been a herculean task. Many cite the example of the Infosys Block, which was constructed at a cost of Rs. 3 crore, but hospital officials are struggling to maintain the facility. For instance, the lifts at Infosys Block are non-functional for over a year now. Senior Government doctors in Hyderabad blame Andhra Pradesh Health, Medical Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation (APHMIDC) for the miseries.
“All the health related projects, repairs and purchases are taken up by APHMIDC on the basis of commissions and quality is compromised. The role of hospital superintendents is limited because they can’t spend more than Rs. 5,000 towards civic works. The APHMIDC takes a minimum of six months to take up even minor repairs,” officials said. Inadequate medical infrastructure continues to haunt the hospital. “We do not have an MRI and that’s why we send patients to Gandhi or OGH. We have a CAT scan machine but there is a waiting period of close to one-month for appointment,” doctors said. On a daily basis, the number of in-patients at Niloufer hospital is around 1100 while officially there are only 450 beds.
Once complete, Rajiv Intensive Care block can ease the shortage of beds by adding 500 additional beds.
“Construction of the new block continues to remain sluggish. The new block also requires Rs. 10 crore to procure medical equipment. So far, State government has not acted on this issue,” doctors said.