The lifts at the Infosys Block at Niloufer Hospital have not been working for over a year

Frequent breakdown of lifts for a day or two at government hospitals in the city is common. However, in a bizarre instance that amply reflects the authorities’ disregard for pregnant women, the lifts at the Infosys Block, constructed by Infosys Foundation at Niloufer Hospital, have not been working for over a year now.

The result. Hapless mothers recuperating with their infants in recovery wards on the second and third floors of the hospital are forced to use the staircase. Bystanders, attenders and other hospital staffers have also got accustomed to using the staircase to reach the upper floors of the block.

Without a functioning lift, it has become a logistical nightmare for the hospital staff, especially class-IV employees, to shift pregnant women to other departments and diagnostic facilities downstairs on wheelchairs and trolleys.

The Infosys Block, which is a ground-plus-three-floors facility, is known for its paediatric emergency and intensive care facilities. The block has a diagnostic wing on the ground floor, special wards on the first floor, twin operation theatres and surgical intensive care unit on the second floor. The first floor of the block has an ICU, while the second and third floors have recovery rooms. Owing to the availability of various facilities, movement of patients is quiet frequent. “Sometimes we use the ramp to get down, but carrying the patient to the second and third floors using the ramp is tough. It’s impossible to carry patients on the trolley through the staircase,” says Narsingh, a staffer.

The Infosys Block was constructed at a cost of Rs. 3 crore and officially inaugurated by then Chief Minister Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy in October, 2005. However, the block started functioning only in April, 2006, when it was officially handed over to the hospital management.

Hospital sources said that the lifts came with a one-year warranty, but the annual maintenance contract was not renewed. “APHMIDC engineers, who are responsible for the upkeep of the lifts, maintain that Rs. 30 lakh is needed to take up repair work. The lifts has not been working for more than a year, and we are helpless,” said a senior doctor at the hospital.

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