Critical care crippled in city

The occupancy at the PGI emergency ward,with only 150 beds,is more than 200 per cent on any given day.

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: January 13, 2009 1:40 am

It is not only the overburdened PGI,GMCH and GMSH also clamour for amenities as patients from across the region throng hospitals in search of better healthcare facilities

Factual position of critical care
* The occupancy at the PGI emergency ward,with only 150 beds,is more than 200 per cent on any given day.
* Incessant tussle between attendants of patients and hospital authorities to allot a bed. There are 19 ICU beds in the emergency,with six in the neurosurgery unit.
* ICU beds in the emergency wards of GMCH-32 and GMSH-16 are less than 10.
The result: even as the city boasts of better medical care in the region,finding timely care is a Herculean task.

The yawning gap between the availability and requirement of emergency care in the city is widening even as the hospitals cater to the burgeoning rush of patients from the region.

Recently,a family alleged that their relative died due to non-availability of an ICU bed in the emergency ward. The authorities in the institute too admit infrastructure limitations.

“The PGI cannot keep on expanding. If the infrastructure and ICU beds in other medical institutes in the region,including Punjab,Haryana and Himachal,do not improve,patients will continue to feel the shortage of amenities at the PGI. A wholesome approach to the development of infrastructure across the region needs to be adopted,” said Deputy Director Administration (DDA) A K Gupta,while talking to Newsline.

With six beds in the neurosurgery emergency ward,11 beds in the general ICU ward,the institute now has eight beds each in the newly opened respiratory ICU and burns ICU. In addition,there are 11 beds in the cardiac care unit.

But,the number of visits at the PGI’s emergency is spiralling northwards by the day. Over 50,000 OPD admissions in the emergency ward are done at the institute every year,and 50 per cent of patients are admitted. The figures in fact have almost doubled in the last one decade.

While the existing infrastructure cripples,the construction is underway to add more ICU beds at the Advanced Trauma Centre. And the waiting time is: one year.

Meanwhile,some private hospitals suggest that common data of infrastructure in private and public sector hospitals be maintained so that patients are better informed. Sanjeev from Chaitnaya Hospital here opines,“It’s time that the common list of the available infrastructure is prepared and patients be informed. Apart from PGI,there are several private hospitals that have the ventilators and ICUs. If one hospital falls short of beds,others should be approached so that the lives of patients can be saved.”

For all the latest Chandigarh News, download Indian Express App