Updated: July 13, 2015 1:01:50 am
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi scheduled to visit Varanasi on July 16 to inaugurate a trauma centre in Baranasi Hindu University (BHU), the state government Saturday inaugurated a similar project at Varanasi district hospital within a 24-hour notice. This, despite the trauma centre being short of staff and lacking in infrastructure.
Despite the first phase of construction at Deendayal Upadhyay District Hospital in Varanasi — Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency — was completed in 2011, it was awaiting inauguration for the last four years. On Saturday, it was inaugurated by Minister of State for PWD and Irrigation Surendra Singh Patel. He is the MLA from the Sevapuri Assembly segment of Varanasi.
While the BHU trauma centre had become operational a few months ago, it is yet to be formally inaugurated. Thus, technically, the trauma centre at Deendayal Upadhyay Hospital becomes the first such centre in Varanasi as well as in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Except BHU, there is no other government-run trauma centre in 11 districts of eastern UP’s three divisions — Varanasi, Azamgarh and Mirzapur. The BHU trauma centre, equipped with more facilities and staff, had started operations with 134 beds on April 20. But its inauguration was postponed for the second time on June 28 when the PM canceled his visit due to bad weather.
When contacted, Surendra Patel denied there was any race to take credit for gifting the first trauma centre to eastern UP. He, however, admitted that the Centre is short of infrastructure and staff. A digital X-ray machine was installed only 10 days ago.
“I told Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday that the functioning of the trauma centre was very essential in Varanasi, as it will cater to the entire eastern Uttar Pradesh. The Chief Minister said it must be inaugurated at the earliest so that general public could benefit. Hence, it was inaugurated on Saturday for emergency services,” Patel said.
The foundation stone was laid in 2008 during the Mayawati regime. The ground floor of the building was completed in 2011 at a cost of Rs 1.50 crore. Equipment worth Rs 90 lakh — including 12 beds, bedside monitors, colour doppler and others — were also procured then only. But it did not start functioning as it was not formally inaugurated.
Dr R N Singh, Chief Medical Superintendent of Deendayal Upadhyay Hospital, said: “The trauma centre was ready in 2011 but we could not get a date from the government for its formal inauguration.
“In the last three years, inauguration dates have been changed 22 times. Senior administrative officials, in a meeting last Friday, decided to inaugurate it on Saturday. We have started admitting patients.”
He added that while the trauma centre currently has only 12 beds, the capacity will be increased after two floors — general and private wards of ICU — with 24-bed in each ward get ready in the next few days.
While admitting that the trauma centre requires a 84-member staff, Singh said currently there were only around a dozen, including three doctors.
“A committee has been formed to draft the requirement of MRI and CT Scan machines and ventilators, among others,” said the minister.
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