Lifts to overbridge connecting to hospital on other end not working

Every day, patients, including children, at the Stanley Government Hospital in north Chennai are shifted in stretches across the Old Jail Road to the Institute of Social Paediatrics (ISP) for neurological and paediatric complains.

The reason behind this is that the two lifts which were used to shift patients over the foot overbridge between the two hospitals have not functioned for many years now.

As a result, patients, including the elderly and children, walk the 80-feet-stretch between the hospitals frequently for treatment, consultations and routine check-ups.

“It’s painful to walk a few feet within the ward of the hospital but we were made to cross the stretch and then climb staircases to reach the neurology department on the fourth floor of the ISP,” said a 48-year-old patient, K. Vijayalakshmi.

According to hospital sources, the ISP, built in 1990, was initially established as a centre for children and for improving research programmes. But now, the institute houses many departments of Stanley hospital including nephrology, dermatology and neurology, and provides treatment for adult patients from Stanley.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, patients with neurological complications are referred to the eight-storey high ISP for treatment. During each of these days, at least 100 patients are shifted across the road.

Hospital officials said only a few patients are shifted on stretches from one hospital to the other. The others have to walk to the ISP with the aid of a hospital attendant. Patients who have undergone surgery, too, are forced to walk across the road to the hospital.

“Such shifting across the dusty stretch is bound to expose patients to infections. We have sent many reminders to officials in the secretariat about resuming operation of the lifts but we are yet to get the nod,” said a senior official of the Stanley Hospital.

The project for the a foot-over-bridge connecting the two hospitals and the lifts got administrative sanction from the then Chennai Corporation commissioner, G. Vijayakumar, in June 2006.

The lifts were opened in mid-2007. However, due to a shortage in staff to operate the lifts, the service was stopped within a few months.

“Several times we have taken up the issue with the hospital authorities and the State government but nothing has been done so far,” said M. Balaraman, a senior DMK functionary in north Chennai.

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