Government General Hospital in city gasps for breath

With about 1,000 beds and nine operation theatres spread over two campuses, the Dr. N.T.R Government General Hospital (GGH) is the biggest one in the city, but it faces severe shortage of staff, and this has put a question mark over delivery of services.

As against the required 3,000 orderlies and nurses, the hospital is being run with around one-third of the number. But when it comes to admissions, they have increased by nearly three times. The number of “high-density cases” which require 24-hour surveillance has also increased.

The doctors and post-graduates often end up working overtime taking care of critically ill patients. Demonetisation further aggravated the situation by increasing the number of admissions. Patients who would have normally gone to private nursing homes came to the government hospital because no cash payment was necessary.

GGH superintendent Jaganmohan told The Hindu that though the importance of the hospital had increased after bifurcation, some key requirements had not yet been factored into the operation. The recruitment of Class IV staff was still for one shift while it should be for three shifts, he said. While there should be three staff members for every bed, there was less than one.

When the 180-bed government hospital at Mangalagiri was closed, the doctors were transferred to Vijayawada, but the Class IV staff were transferred to the Guntur Government General Hospital, he said. There was an increase in the high-density (ICU, acute medical wards etc) beds in the hospitals with more complicated cases being admitted into the hospital.

There were seven operation theatres in the hospital near the Siddhartha Medical College. Unless there was coordination among various departments, proper services could not be extended to the poor, Dr. Jaganmohan said.

“The days of the small nursing homes are gone. It is either the corporate hospitals or the government hospitals,” he said.

He said a decision had been take to replace the old four-slice CT scan with a 16-slice one.

“There was a debate over a 16 slice CT scan or a 64 slice CT scan and the radiologists told us that there was not much difference between the two. So it was decided that a 16 slice CT scan would be purchased. Tenders have already been called,” Dr. Jaganmohan said.

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