Osmania General Hospital continues to struggle

Even a minister’s presence for one night could not spur developmental activities at Osmania General Hospital (OGH). This is the refrain among patients and health care providers at OGH, as the tertiary care centre continues to get plagued by a host of issues related to infrastructure, sanitation and security.

Former Deputy Chief Minister K. Rajaiah’s exhaustive visit and subsequent inspection by newly appointed Health Minister, C. Laxma Reddy had stirred-up hopes for hospital’s revival. However, so far, senior doctors here point out, nothing much has happened and there is a clear risk of funds going unused before the upcoming budget session.

The Government has dropped the proposal to construct a new building within the OGH campus and instead wanted to take up restoration and strengthening works of old heritage building. It was proposed to spend Rs. 28 crore for restoration of old OGH inpatient block along with other minor repair works of other buildings, which would hold the structure in good stead for the next five years.

It was also planned to acquire medical equipment worth Rs. 72 crore for the hospital. “Everything is on paper and the project is yet to take off. It was proposed to spend close to Rs. 100 crore for equipment and restoration. Now, there is a clear danger of the funds going back because they were only meant to be spent before the budget,” senior doctors here said.

Sanitation and security continue to remain major challenges. “Security workers here openly demand bribes from patients and attenders. To go in or to come out of wards, they demand a minimum of Rs. 10 or Rs. 20,” complains Sandhya P, a patient attender.

Government is yet to address the issue o f shortage in nursing staff. “Since 2004, permanent filling-up of nursing posts were not taken up. At present, there are 308 sanctioned posts out of which 290 have been filled-up. According to MCI norms, there is need of 900 nurses,” says former general secretary, Government Nurses Association, K. Sujavathi.

The present sanitation practices including disposal of bio-medical wastes and lack of sewerage treatment plant (STP) continue to pose problems. The OGH sanitation has been outsourced to private agencies who in-turn have sub-contracted the very important cleaning up activities of wards, ICUs, operation theatres and recovery rooms etc.

Bare facts:

1.The 150-year-old hospital is established on a 26.5 acre land on the banks of Musi river.

2.Close to 2,000 students pursue medical and paramedical courses.

3.OGH receives 8 lakh outpatients and 52,000 inpatients annually.

4.The total bed strength increased from 400 to 1400 beds.

Present scenario:

1.There are 11 major blocks housing the hospital.

2.Eight blocks have been deemed unfit for usage.

3.The IP block has been declared a heritage building.

4.The infrastructure is crumbling by the day.

What is planned?

1.Spend Rs. 72 crore to purchase equipment and Rs. 28 crore for building repairs.

2.No decision on security, sanitation, nurses and medical staff recruitment yet.

3.There is no sewerage treatment plant.

4. Nursing students of OGH do not have hostel and classrooms.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 11:18:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/ogh-continues-to-struggle/article6925287.ece

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