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‘PGIMER is a victim of its own popularity…people have high hopes’

Last month, the Union Health Ministry appointed the renowned ophthalmologist and head of department of ophthalmology at PGI, Dr Jagat Ram, 60, as the PGI director.

Written by Adil Akhzer | Chandigarh |
April 3, 2017 4:00:42 am
pgimer, pgi chandigarh, pgimer institute chandigarh, pgi medical college, pgimer director, jagat ram, medical institute chandigarh, chandigarh news, education news, indian express Professor Jagat Ram, Director, PGIMER. (Sahil Walia)

You joined last month as the new PGI director. How challenging do you feel it is?

I am trying to understand whatever the issues which are pending, the issues which need to be given priority and then the burning issues at the institute. The appointment has obviously come as a big responsibility for me and my priority shall remain to ensure teamwork so that we can take the institute to a new level. I want to raise the institute to the next level so that we match the top global medical institutes in patient care, research and training. I will take along all the employees of PGIMER whether they are faculty, residents, nurses and technicians.

What are the issues which you think need to be dealt with immediately?

There are a number of issues. The first important thing is the number of patients in the OPD are increasing. In the OPD, it varies from 9,000-12,000 patients and equal number of attendants are there which makes the number not less than 20,000 a day. The rush is triggering another problem as well — the parking remains filled all the time. Now we have started the process so that we can set up a few more parking lots on campus. Another issue is the long queues at the OPD. For that, online registration is an option, but not many people are opting for it. We are now in talks with some private companies so they can suggest how we can handle the rush. We are also evaluating the manpower required.

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What about the emergency and the trauma center which remains packed and patients are even in the corridors?

We are working towards ending this problem. We are planning to request the consultants that for all those patients who are admitted in the emergency and trauma, once they are stabilised and when the patients come out of that emergency stage he/she should be shifted to the wards. If the consultants feel the patient is fit, he or she can be even sent to the hospitals from where the patient has come (back referrals). We are also making arrangements to start one OT which was closed in the new OPD, to help the patients who are on the waiting list and have to undergo ortho related minor surgeries.

But then there are those referrals, which are unnecessary and can be dealt at a local level?


Yes, focus is on coordination with the state governments of several states. We may offer training to the doctors and other medical staff of the hospitals located in the neighboring states to avoid unnecessary referrals to the PGI.

Why do you think there is so much flow of patients to the PGI?

I think, we are a victim of our own popularity. People have high hopes from PGI and they prefer to visit us rather than other hospitals.


Research is important for any institute. What are your plans to boost it?

Our technical research has to improve and I think we need to take it to another level. We should have cutting-edge technology. We have started steps which will give research activities a boost.

Of late, agitations have become a routine. Even now, the nursing association has sent some recommendations regarding some issues in which they have threatened a strike.

We always try our best here to solve the problems. The case which you are talking about, they have some proposals and we are examining it. But threatening to go on strike at the beginning itself, I don’t think that is a right approach.

What are the plans for the Sarangpur land? Which new centers are coming up?


We have started internal discussions about what new facilities can come up on the 50-acre land which has been sanctioned to PGI at the Sarangpur area. We have now written to all the HOD’s to come up with ideas on what new facilities could come up on the land, keeping in mind the current situation of the PGI and also the institute’s priorities for patient care. We have some proposals from the department.

How’s the Sangrur satellite center going? Are people visiting for treatment?


The Sangrur satellite centre is now picking up. People are visiting for treatment on a daily basis. In the future, the number of patients who visit on a daily basis will further increase.

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First published on: 03-04-2017 at 04:00:42 am

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