Niloufer Hospital in Hyderabad is one of the oldest in the city. However, the number of these deaths has been increasing and the hospital is grappling with shortage of staff, technicians and infrastructure. Express spoke to superintendent Dr D Ranganath.
What is present bed strength of the hospital and average patient’s intake?
Niloufer caters to children from every strata of society. The sanctioned bed strength is only 500, but on an average, we treat around 1000 inpatients every day. Further, there are another 1000 outpatients who we attend to on an average a day.
How many doctors would be required to address the shortage of staff?
As of today, the sanctioned strength is only 500, of which 100 are doctors including PG students. At present, there are six vacancies due to retirement and another five in place of doctors who were promoted and transferred.
We are short of 30 nurses. We require double the current sanctioned strength to meet the demand.
Reports indicate that though there is a requirement, there are no technicians in the hospital?
True. There is a requirement of 10 biomedical technicians for each of the 10 units in the hospital. We require three physical therapists and 10 respiratory therapists. However, there are no sanctions for those posts.
The hospital also seems short of incubators, ventilators apart from space and staff?
It is all true. There are only 20 ventilators, of which 15 are working. There are enough incubators for the sanctioned strength, but with the number of patients more than double, we are forced to keep two or three infants in one incubator and phototherapy unit.
What about increase in number of deaths at the hospital?
First one has to understand that 80 per cent of the cases that are brought to the hospital are serious and critical. Many of the newborns and infants are brought when the treatment elsewhere fails. As a rule we can not refuse them though there is a shortage of infrastructure and staff. On an average 16 children die. Most of those children are born underweight and weigh between 700 grams to 1.5 kg. Their survival chances are low, given their underdeveloped lungs, kidneys and liver. Further, there are infections that set in when the newborn is premature.
Have you sent proposals for increasing infrastructure?
Yes, the reports have been submitted to the government periodically. We also sent a proposal for increasing the bed strength and facilities and have been following it up. The government had finally sanctioned the proposal for the 450-bed new block with level 3 care facilities, which will be operational by November 1.
The estimated budget is Rs 270 crore, of which 90 percent will be borne by the centre as the new block is being developed as part of National Centre for excellence. The remaining 10 percent will be borne by the state government. We have also submitted proposals worth Rs 21 crore for new medical instruments.