The staff including senior doctors, house surgeons, paramedical and administrative staff and nurses of Government Chest Hospital, Erragadda launched a struggle to protest alleged attempts by the State Government to shift the hospital to Vikarabad.
On Tuesday, the healthcare workers from the hospital boycotted their duties, sported black badges and raised slogans against the Government and termed the alleged decision to shift the hospital ‘illogical’ and against the interests of patients.
“How can they shift a teaching hospital that is attached to Osmania Medical College to a place that is more than 50 k.m. away from City? What happens to scores of patients with respiratory ailments including tuberculosis who come from Karnataka and even Maharashtra to the Chest Hospital? ” the protesting hospital staff asked the Government.
Senior hospital doctors said that State Government had virtually decided to shift Chest Hospital from its 62-acre campus in Erragadda. The doctors pointed out that if shifted, the hospital would stand to lose close to 11 Post Graduate seats in pulmonology, which received permissions recently from Medical Council of India (MCI). According to the MCI rules, a teaching hospital should be within 8 km of the medical college.
“Instead of developing this facility into a full-fledged general hospital, they want to shift to Vikarabad and use this campus for commercial gains. We will not allow this to happen. There is a 100-bedded facility for HIV patients here. The in-patient block is a heritage building and the campus is a notified urban forest area. Is the Government expecting patients to travel 50 km to 100 km for treatment?” asked T. Pramod Kumar, chairman for action committee formed to save the Hospital.
Officially, the hospital has 670 sanctioned beds with nearly 300 healthcare workers that includes close to 50 doctors. Close to 200 HIV patients with TB co-infection visit the facility on a daily basis. Another 150 to 200 patients with respiratory ailments visit the outpatient wing of the hospital.