TIMS ready to treat COVID patients

Health Minister Eatala Rajender inspecting the Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences and Research at Gachibowli on Wednesday. G. Ramakrishna  

The Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (TIMS) at Gachibowli has finally been readied to admit COVID-19 patients.

Announcing this on Wednesday, Health Minister Eatala Rajender said 1,000 of the 1,224 beds at the institute have oxygen line facility while mechanical ventilators are provided for 50 beds. Recruitment of doctors, nurses and other health care professionals will be completed within two days. In-patients would be admitted by next week.

The sports complex in Gachibowli was initially mooted as a quarantine centre for asymptomatic air passengers. The 14-storey building, which was unused for over a decade, was converted into a COVID-19 centre. In the third week of April, the State government announced that it will be turned into TIMS.

However, questions were raised by government hospital doctors, politicians and general people on why the institute was not being used to admit COVID-19 patients or suspects. COVID-19 patients who needed hospitalisation were being admitted at Gandhi Hospital, Government General and Chest Hospital, and Area Hospital in King Koti.

The concerns grew when protesting junior doctors at Gandhi Hospital highlighted the issue on June 10. Junior doctors from Osmania General Hospital who recently boycotted COVID duties also had the same question.

Hope to share burden

Junior and senior doctors who attend COVID-19 patients and suspects at government hospitals said that work burden on them will come down if TIMS is put to use. Officials said since beds in Gandhi Hospital were not completely occupied, they did not use TIMS.

The doctors were relieved when Mr Rajender announced that in-patients will be admitted in four to five days. Currently, general out-patient services are provided there. However, the doctors are unsure if the patients will be admitted at TIMS, or if officials will continue to direct patients to Gandhi Hospital.

To address bed shortage

“The cases are increasing and there is shortage of COVID beds in corporate hospitals. In such a situation, people are desperately seeking better facilities at government hospitals. Patients, friends and acquaintances keep calling us to enquire if a bed with ventilator support is available at government hospital,” a government hospital doctor said.

Sewage water

Earlier, students and faculty at University of Hyderabad had drawn attention to the issue of sewage water from the Gachibowli facility being released into the university. Senior officials from the Health department said they have constructed a temporary Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) at the institute and sewage water from there will not flow into the varsity.

“As per rules, hospitals need to have STPs and we will construct a permanent one too. However, the problem is sewage water from a nearby gated community that flows into the university. We brought the issue to their notice and discussed it with university officials too,” an official said. Fresh water to TIMS will be supplied through water tankers.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 10:26:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/tims-ready-to-treat-covid-patients/article31909623.ece

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