Andhra Pradesh

This hospital bursts at the seams with patients

The Anantapur Government General Hospital, which was in the news recently for nine deaths in 12 hours, lacks infrastructural facilities as well as manpower to call it a 500-bedded hospital, consequently affecting the patient care and pushing up the mortality rate.

“The recent death of nine people in a single night has been attributed to natural causes. I would say they have been precipitated by administrative lapses. When there was such a large influx of patients on a single day, doesn’t it automatically require a commensurate response in the form of additional doctors and specialists to manage them”, argues former Anantapur MP Ananta Venkatrami Reddy, who is known to have given his entire MPLADS fund of ₹1 crore (of one year) for the development of the hospital.

He alleges that the doctors at the hospital have, if not abdicated duties, certainly cut back on the time they spend in the hospital, thereby leaving patients at the mercy of junior doctors. They allegedly prefer to spend more time at their private clinics even drawing patients from this hospital.

“This is the hospital where those who manage it show no interest. It reflects the lackadaisical attitude of the government in dealing with people's health”, said Obulu, former CPI(M) district secretary.

The hospital, where almost 1,200 people get admitted as in-patients has a sanctioned bed strength of 500 but an operational bed strength — beds randomly added and removed as per demand — of 1,110 to accommodate the heavy influx of patients. The doctors, nurses and the infrastructure itself are heavily burdened consequently and quality is adversely affected.

While the government in 2010 issued a G.O increasing the bed strength to 500 from 350, the increase only meant an increase of physical beds and not the corresponding requirement of men, material, medicine and infrastructure.

The government calculates the funds to be made available to the hospital besides every other facilities to be extended, including infrastructure requirements on the basis of the sanctioned strength of 500 beds, while the actual patient count is more.

“Consequently, we ration the medicines according to the demand. Although there is no dearth of funds for medicines, the actual physical availability of medicine is always less than ideal, thanks to the necessity to stick to the rule to buy medicines sufficient enough for 500 rather than for 1,200,” said a doctor on the condition of anonymity.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 5:06:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/this-hospital-bursts-at-the-seams-with-patients/article19821710.ece

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