Only 11 ventilators for swine flu patients!

Tertiary government hospitals have no isolation wards or ventilator support

It is hard to believe but is true. There are just 11 active ventilators at the government hospitals to support the ever increasing number of swine flu patients in the capital.

This is not all. Tertiary government hospitals dedicated exclusively for mother and child health neither have neither swine flu isolation wards nor provide ventilator support!

“We just refer pregnant women with flu like symptoms to Gandhi, Chest or King Kothi area hospitals,” is the typical reply from authorities at Niloufer, and Sultan Bazar hospitals.

Even in district area hospitals at King Kothi, Nampally, Madhapur and Vanasthalipuram, barring isolation beds, there are no ventilators.

At present, Gandhi Hospital has six ventilators, at Chest Hospital there are four but only three are working and at Osmania General Hospital there are two ventilators.

With very few ventilators available in districts, large numbers of patients needing critical care are left with no option but to visit tertiary hospitals in the capital.

There have been instances when patients were denied admissions at Chest, Gandhi and Osmania General Hospital and were referred to private hospitals.

“We are lucky that at this moment H1N1 is not virulent and we are able to treat patients if they come at the right time. But sometimes we are forced to refer patients to private hospitals because our ventilators are occupied,” a Gandhi Hospital doctor points out.


Sufficient manpower including doctors, nurses and paramedics are required for round-the-clock maintenance of ventilators. Ideally, one ventilator requires one doctor, nurse and at least three paramedical staff capable of working in shifts.

Aid sought

“We have requested the government to provide us with financial aid and enough manpower. We can only support three ventilators at this moment because of shortage of nurses, paramedics and doctors,” Chest Hospital authorities point out.

  • Some patients denied admission at Chest, OGH and Gandhi Hospitals
  • Patients referred to private hospitals because ventilators are occupied

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