Staff shortage cripples newly inaugurated 65-bedded ICU of Gandhi Hospital

Two days after the 65-bedded ICU was opened for patients, junior doctors at Gandhi Hospital staged a protest against dearth of staff in the facility and the issue of attendants knocking on th

Published: 17th September 2017 11:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th September 2017 11:48 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Two days after the 65-bedded ICU was opened for patients, junior doctors at Gandhi Hospital staged a protest against dearth of staff in the facility and the issue of attendants knocking on their hostel doors, sleeping and smoking on their corridors. The protest was called off two hours after launching it on Saturday.Junior doctors said that the required number of nurses, ward boys and technicians are not available because of which they are stretching and performing jobs which the staff is supposed to do.

Ideally, there should be one nurse per bed. However, one nurse is taking care of six patients, they claimed.
“Nurses and technicians are supposed to bring lab reports and ensure that tests are performed. Since enough of staff is not allotted to the ICU, we are performing the jobs. This needs to be addressed so that we can focus on patient care,” said Dr Kiran Rathod, president of Junior  Doctors Association (JUDA), Gandhi Hospital unit.

In  fact, the junior doctors claimed that they cautioned not to open the ICU without appointing staff as no compromise can be entertained when it  comes to intensive medical care. “However, the ICU was opened and there are problems now. When the ICU was inaugurated, we were assured by the hospital’s administration that staff would be appointed. However, there is no sign  of it,” junior doctors said.
They called off the protest within  two-hours of launching it. Professor and head of General  Medicine department, Dr M Raja Rao said that they are ready to face any challenge and they are stretching themselves to serve all patients in  ICU. “We come back to he ICU even in mid of night if there is an  emergency,’ dr Raja Rao said. Junior doctors said that  provision of ICU does not mean providing top-class equipment and infrastructure alone, but required staff should be appointed too. 

Attendants knock hostel doors at midnight
Hostels for post graduate students, MS and MD resident doctors are located in third, fourth and fifth floor of the Out-Patient Block which is interconnected to the Emergency block through common floors.
The 65-bedded ICU has three points for entry and exit, one of which is at the hostel in third floor. Attendants of the patients started to stay in the hostel corridors. Junior doctors said that in the past two-days, attendants knocked the doors of female doctors hostel rooms in the midnight. 

“When the doors opened the doors, in mid of the night, they were scared to find a stranger who were attendants of patients. Besides, some patients have ten attendants who slept in our corridors. They opened the mess doors and slept on the dining tables. Some even smoked in our corridors,” a junior doctor said. 
They said that though three security personnel were allotted, they are unable to control large number of attendants. The issue was resolved on Saturday as the entrance to ICU from hostel corridors was closed.

Half-hour walk back and forth to get test reports
Emergency  laboratory at Gandhi Hospital has been shifted from Emergency Block to In-Patient block because of which getting test reports are being delayed by at least half-an-hour. The Emergency block and the IP Block are separated by a few meters. However, since they are huge in size with multiple departments, finding the lab, getting tests done takes time. The laboratory was shifted from first floor of the emergency block to the fourth floor of IP block. “The attendents have to walk to the laboratory and come back to the ICU with reports. This takes at least half-an-hour,” sources said.

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