Andhra Pradesh

All is not well with Ruia

‘Jewel in the crown of Rayalaseema’ suffers from lack of staff and equipment

“Pitiable” is a word that describes the conditions at Sri Venkateswara Ramnarain Ruia Government General Hospital in Tirupati. Though considered the ‘jewel in the crown of Rayalaseema’, with patient inflow from Chittoor, Kadapa, Nellore and parts of Anantapur districts, the hospital has been in the news always for the wrong reasons.

Things slightly improved after Principal Secretary (Medical and Health) Poonam Malakondaiah made a ‘Ground Zero’ study last year by staying in the hospital for three days. The hospital underwent cosmetic improvement in physical infrastructure through white washing of buildings and black topping of roads, but the internal problems remain unaddressed.

The major handicap is manpower — right from medical professionals to Class IV employees. Though employed and drawing salary here ‘for the record’, the manner in which several doctors have gone on deputation to Guntur, Visakhapatnam and Kakinada hospitals shows a pattern. The paediatric, gynaecology, medicine and orthopaedics departments function with almost a third of the required staff. The posts of attendants and sanitary workers remain unfilled even after retirement. With 40 clerical positions vacant in SV Medical College and around 100 in the hospital, the administrators are running from pillar to post to get things done.

Equipment

Medical investigation wing has always been a let down here. The MRI equipment is yet to arrive and has remained elusive for the last five years. The CT scan and X-ray function only for half a day and the reports are delayed by 24 hours. The digital X-ray facility is meant to transmit the diagnostic report online for easy referral, but the absence of local area network came as a dampener. Offline consultation is also not available due to the shortage of films. The Medical Records department still awaits computerisation.

Estimates made way back in 2014-15 for a ₹46-crore radiology block remain on paper.

SVMC Principal N.V. Ramanaiah recently submitted a proposal to Health Minister Kamineni Srinivas on the need for a super structure to house the administrative wing as well as the medical, surgical and super speciality blocks. As per the proposal, the ground floor will have the Superintendent's office, radiology and central lab, while the first floor will house cardiology, CT surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, nephrology and urology wings. Similarly, the second floor will have paediatric and plastic surgery departments. A common operation theatre will be housed above. “With lift, ramp and steps in the same building, patient transportation and inter-departmental referral will be easy”, Dr. Ramanaiah reasons, as he awaits State sanction at the earliest.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 5:55:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/all-is-not-well-with-ruia/article19821751.ece

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