Lifts have not been working for at least a week now, say patients’ relatives

Seven of the 16 elevators at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital are not working. The elevators are in both tower blocks, and are used by patients and their families to get from one part of the massive teaching hospital to another.

Relatives of patients said the lifts have not been working for at least a week now.

Three elevators in tower I (lift numbers 5, 7 and 9), and four in tower II (lift numbers 2, 5, 7 and 8) do not work.

Of the remaining nine lifts which are working, four are meant for use only by doctors and VIPs, leaving patients, their families and everybody else with only five lifts to access the six floors in each of the towers.

With around 50,000 people coming to the GH every day, including patients, their families, doctors, nurses and ward boys, every working lift is overcrowded, and there are long queues waiting outside them.

Families said that it was mostly senior citizens who were severely inconvenienced. Andal, an 85-year-old, who has been visiting her son at the hospital, said, “My back hurts and my body aches as I have to keep using the stairs. People rush into the lifts that are working and I can’t get in. So I have no choice but to take the stairs.”

Several people said the lifts were often not able to accommodate all the people waiting for them, since they have a weight limit. Families, and sometimes patients too, had to frequently use the stairs or ramp.

Hospital authorities say the lifts invariably break down from time to time as there are too many people using them.

“Repair work in is progress. It will take about 10 days for the lifts to be fixed,” said a hospital official.


Arita SarkarJune 28, 2012