WARANGAL:At first sight, the oldest and biggest government hospital in north Telangana, the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital (MGMH), located in the heart of Warangal city, gives you the impression of a super specialty institution. And, you could be forgiven to think so since the hospital was indeed sanctioned such facilities. But then, appearances are deceptive.
A patient with a severe heart complication may at best get emergency treatment at the MGMH. He must visit a local private hospital or a government hospital in Hyderabad if he needs to undergo surgery. Reason: The MGMH has neither a cath lab nor a cardiothoraci surgeon. In fact, several other posts of specialists like a neurophysician, neurosurgeon and plastic surgeon have been lying vacant for a long time.
What more, super specialty wings including endocrinology, nephrology and gastroenterology are running with a single doctor! “No super specialist is interested in joining MGMH as the salary offered is peanuts. As per government norms, there isn’t much of a difference between the pay scales of a super specialist and an assistant civil surgeon (MBBS). Due to this, super specialists prefer corporate hospitals which offer fat pay checks,” a senior doctor explained.
Notwithstanding the staff shortage, the 1,000-bed hospital receives an overwhelming number of in-patients, not to speak of the nearly 2,000 out-patients, who come here for treatment from not only Warangal district but also Khammam, Karimnagar and Adilabad, almost every day. The MGMH, which used to have 600 beds, was upgraded in 2005 but the State government hasn’t sanctioned staff and infrastructure accordingly. Now, about 350 posts, including that of doctors, staff nurses and paramedics, are lying vacant at the hospital.
The doctors also say there is a need to increase the number of key machines, particularly at the dialysis centre, given the sheer number of patients coming in. For example, the cobalt machine used in treating cancer patients has not been working for a long time as the BARC has to install Cobalt-60 source in it.
The hospital, though, is tidy enough and sanitation is much better than other government hospitals.
old buildings pose a threat to patients
Some buildings, constructed in 1956, are in a dilapidated condition. “Though we proposed demolition of old buildings, there has been no response from the government,” a surgeon said.