Attending to over 20 lakh patients each year at its OPDS, PGI — the city’s tertiary care institute — is handling more than four to five times its capacity. The reason for this is the absence of a health care institute at par with PGI in the adjoining states of Punjab and Haryana.
Statistics suggest that PGI is burdened with more than one lakh new patients in its OPD with most of them from Punjab and Haryana.
The total number of patients seen at the institute’s OPD in 2011 was about 18 lakh. This number rose to 19.19 lakh in 2012 and 20.61 lakh in 2013.
“Every year, lakhs of new patients come to PGI. The maximum number is from Punjab and Haryana, followed by Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. Patients from western Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan also come in large numbers,” said Dr Vipin Koushal, Deputy Medical Superintendent.
He added that the number of cancer patients from adjoining areas had also increased.
About 7,000 new cancer cases are added to the cancer OPDs. In 2011, about 60,000 cancer patients were treated at PGI, while the number increased to about 67,000 in 2012 and over 74,000 in 2013.
“There is an additional increase in the number of cancer patients at the Regional Cancer Centre of PGIMER. I believe that more awareness about the disease and better accessibility to health facilities are the reason behind the annual increase,” said Dr Koushal.
As per another senior faculty member, “Until the adjoining states do not strengthen health infrastructure and improve quality of man power, PGI will have to bear the consequences.”
He added that doctors and staff were working overtime and timings of OPDs had been extended till late evenings.
“They talk of setting up AIIMS-like institutes in various states, but where is the manpower? The government in every state must come forward and take responsibility of the health facilities,” the official added.