G.V. Ramana Rao

Steady increase in number of patients

VIJAYAWADA: Contrary to predictions by detractors, the Government General Hospital (GGH) being developed on the Siddhartha Medical College (SMC) campus is bursting at its seams with a constant increase in the number of patients each month.

In a bid to make it more patient-friendly, GGH Development Society (GGHDS) chairman and district Collector Navin Mittal has written to the director of medical education (DME) asking for permission to establish neurology, plastic surgery and gastro-enterology departments in the hospital for catering to the growing needs of patients. The GGHDS has also urged the DME to grant funds for establishing a second orthopaedics unit and for upgrading the present anaesthesiology department.

There has been a 45 per cent increase in old patients (patients who have taken treatment at the hospital) and 24 per cent increase in new patients in the past four years. There is a 20 per cent increase in the number of in-patients. The GGH has treated a record number of 2,18,920 old patients, 1,81,140 new patients and 24,034 in-patients in 2005-06, according to the hospital records.

No additional facilities

Despite the increase in the number of patients, the AP Medical and Health Infrastructure Development Corporation is unable to create additional facilities to meet the rush.

Though it is just a question of preparing the already available superstructure for occupation, the corporation is having a tough time meeting the deadlines being set by the GGHDS. No work, whatsoever, had begun before March 31, the first deadline set by the society.

Work incomplete

Mr. Mittal eventually extended the deadline to August 15 and said serious action would be initiated against the officials concerned, if the work is not completed in time. The GGHDS even earmarked Rs. 3 crores for development at its meeting in the third week of July. But this deadline too could not be met and the GGHDS has not set another deadline after that. The GGHDS has already decided to accommodate the trauma centre, emergency room, blood bank and the administration in the block under construction.

The GGHDS has earmarked funds for beautifying the vacant land in front of hospital and for creating separate facilities for doctors and visitors.