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Updated: January 31, 2013 00:23 IST

Reels of red tape choking OGH

M. Sai Gopal
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Patients thronging the 150-year-old hospital are forced to put up with the crumbling infrastructure thanks to official apathy

Here is a classic case of bureaucracy in play. Although the administrative sanction for Rs. 200 crore to construct a new building for the Osmania General Hospital (OGH) was given in November 2010, the project is mired in red tape two years and two months later.

Scores of poor patients thronging the 150-year-old hospital are forced to put up with the crumbling infrastructure thanks to official apathy. In fact, medical facilities at the hospital have gone from bad to worse even as patients, out of sheer desperation, bravely endure the deteriorating conditions.

The OGH campus was originally designed to serve just 400 patients a day, and it now caters for over 2,000 patients in in-patient and another 1,500 patients in the outpatient wings. The pressure on the creaking infrastructure is such that it causes frequent breakdowns.

The drainage pipes, water connection and power lines here are as old as the hospital. The creaking drain pipes from the operation theatres, wards, in-patient and out-patient facilities frequently get choked, making the recuperating wards and hospital environs to reek. So much so that it is now beyond the ability of the sanitary staff to get rid of the all-pervading stench. The old power lines short circuit frequently, plunging the in-patient and out-patient wards and theatres in the old building into darkness. The hostels and the nursing college on the campus, constructed during the Nizam’s time, are in a dilapidated state, forcing authorities to declare them unfit for occupation.

“There is no will power and commitment to improve services. The delay in release of funds is unpardonable because patients are the worst sufferers. I still have not lost hope, and the project should take off at the earliest,” said former OGH superintendent and member of the Hosptial Development Society (HDS) Dr. A. Gopal Kishan.

The authorities themselves have acknowledged the difficulties involved in implementing the Government Order (G.O. No-313 dt November 8, 2010), issued to sanction Rs. 200 crore for the construction of a new building. “OGH has 11 blocks, of which eight are old and unfit for use in the modern age. They have outlived the original purpose and lifetime. Due to old and bad infrastructure, OGH is not preferred by citizens despite having eminent doctors,” the G.O noted.

The 85-year-old in-patient block was declared a heritage building by the HMDA’s heritage committee. The plan is to demolish other old structures and build a multi-storied medical facility across a six-acre site behind the main building.

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