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Here, patients share beds and sleep on the floor

Sathish G.T.
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Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences staff are helpless

Ordeal: Two patients sharing the same bed at the Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences in Hassan on Saturday.
Ordeal: Two patients sharing the same bed at the Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences in Hassan on Saturday.

Patients admitted to the Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences are forced to share beds with others, and many are asked to sleep on the floor till beds are made available.

The inordinate delay in construction of the extension block of the hospital is the reason for patients undergoing this ordeal. The hospital staff are also helpless as they cannot refuse admission when the case is critical or when an urgent surgery needs to be done.Many a time patients are discharged in a hurry to accommodate others who are on the waitlist.

“As per the practice, we have to keep patients in labour ward under observation for at least three days after the delivery. Because of shortage of space and beds, we are discharging them on the second day,” said a doctor.

The capacity of the hospital is 350 beds.

Over the years, the number of beds increased to 550, though the basic infrastructure and staff strength remained the same.

According to district surgeon Dr. K. Shankara, at least 1,500 visit the hospital as out-patients per day and 500 get admitted to different wards.

“We can't refuse admission to patients citing non-availability of beds. Many of them are poor. They can't afford to get treatment in private hospitals,” he said. Shyamala, a nurse, said she felt bad to ask patients to sleep on the floor, “but we are helpless.”

The district surgeon said if the new building had been ready by this time, there would not have been any problems .

The construction of the new building began under the Karnataka Health System Development and Reform Project in May 2007. The work was supposed to get completed in 24 months, but the construction is on even after 46 months.

The initial estimated cost of the building was Rs. 43.5 crore. Later, the tender was fixed at Rs. 56.42 crore, for which the then Cabinet gave approval. However, certain facilities, including elevators, were not included in the original design.

“When new components were included, the expenditure went up by another Rs. 26 crore,” medical college principal Dr. R.S. Prasad said.

The Cabinet had not cleared the latest estimate. “We have to install elevators, fire-fighting system, oxygen pipeline, and rainwater harvesting apparatus. The proposal was sent to the Cabinet more than a year ago,” said an engineer working under the project.

The new building, includes 10 major operation theatres and 300 beds.

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