Around 300 intercom connections are not functioning, say hospital staff

Several telephone lines at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (GH) have been out of service for a few months now.

This has largely inconvenienced the relatives of patients, who call to inquire about them. Mobile phones may have proliferated but families do not have access to the phone numbers of doctors.

“They call and ask to be connected to particular wards. We have difficulty in explaining to them that the phone lines are down. It is easy to provide general information but difficult to answer their questions,” said a telephone operator.

According to sources in the hospital, around 300 lines in various blocks are not functioning. The hospital has separate buildings for cardiology, neurology and surgery patients. In these old buildings, the lines have not been functioning for nearly three months.

According to hospital staff, around 300 intercom connections are not functioning.

The phone lines in tower blocks 1 and 2 are in order but the annual maintenance contract has not been renewed for the rest of the connections, the staff said.

Hospital dean V. Kanagasabai said the hospital had around 500 connections of which around 80 lines were not functioning.

“We have sought to upgrade the EPABX telephone lines at a cost of Rs. 19 lakh. A quotation for Rs. 18.78 lakh has been received and we have asked the telephone authorities to split the bills so it can be cleared quickly,” he said.

According to him, the hospital has received funds under the chief minister’s health insurance scheme and finance is not a problem. However, since the dean has authority to sanction only up to Rs. 5 lakh at a time, he has asked for a bifurcation of the bills, Dr. Kanagasabai said.

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