Telangana

Orders issued to vacate Osmania General Hospital in-patient block, seal it

The Osmania General Hospital in-patient , a soaring heritage structure on the banks of Musi, in a dilapidated condition.   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

Around a week after rainwater flooded into Osmania General Hospital’s century-old in-patient block, orders were issued to vacate the building and seal it on Wednesday. Though there was wide spread speculation that this is a step to bring down the in-patient (IP) block — built in 1917 by the seventh Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan — sources in the know of things said that the orders were issued to avoid any illegal activities in the vacant building.

Plaster chipping off the roof of the in-patient block of Osmania General Hospital posing a threat to patients and health professionals.

Plaster chipping off the roof of the in-patient block of Osmania General Hospital posing a threat to patients and health professionals.   | Photo Credit: NAGARA GOPAL

 

The Osmania General Hospital (OGH) has three blocks: IP Block, OP (out-patient) Block and Quli Qutb Shah Block. The IP block has been in the news from 2015. Because of years of neglect, it needed repairs which were not fixed. Water leaking through roofs, seeping through walls, chunks of lime mortar crashing from ceiling to ground or on patients made healthcare professionals fear for their life.

In 2015, the Telangana government announced a new building for the hospital. Patients were shifted from the IP block to other sections of the hospital and to other hospitals too. However, heritage activists and leaders of Opposition parties opposed the move to destroy the over-100-year old building. After some more incidents of lime mortar crashing to the ground, doctors and staff at the hospital formed OGH Joint Action Committee to demand a new building. The protests launched in the beginning of 2018 lasted for over 90 days.

Incidentally, the current in-charge Superintendent of the hospital Dr R Pandu Naik was chairman of the JAC. He was in forefront of the protests which were called off after assurances were given to construct a new building. Years passed by, but there was no action .

On July 15, rain water from the stormwater drains gushed into the IP block when patients were still undergoing treatment there. Apart from patients in General Medicine and Intermediate Care, three Operation Theatres function in the same building. Besides, the Superintendent’s chamber and offices of Heads of Department function from there.

This triggered fresh round of protests by doctors and staff . They launched one-hour protests from Tuesday with the same demand. Meanwhile, patients from the General Medicine and Intermediate Care were shifted to the Quli Qutb Shah Block. Operation theatres were still functioning from there. The protesting doctors demanded that the old building be demolished to construct a new one.

The State’s Director of Medical Education Dr K Ramesh Reddy on Wednesday issued orders to the hospital’s superintendent to vacate the building and seal it. “No activity should be undertaken in the old building,” the order states. This led to speculation that the ground is being prepared to bring down the building.

“The huge building is almost vacant. We want to avoid a situation where someone sneaks in to drink alcohol or to create nuisance. So the orders were issued to seal it. This is for safety of the building and of the medical community, patients there,” sources in the State Health department said.

In-charge superintendent of the hospital Dr Naik said that alternate places for the Superintendent’s chamber and other offices is being identified and the building will be vacated. Operation Theatres too were shifted to out-patient block.

Protests to continue

Meanwhile, doctors from the hospital who have been protesting for one hour everyday said that they will continue the protest until the State government announces a new building for the hospital.


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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 12:29:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/orders-issued-to-vacate-ogh-ip-block-seal-it/article32165102.ece

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