Good days are ahead for Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) as a series of amendments to the existing system are being planned, but certainly not at the cost of conveniently forgetting the worst experiences from the past.
Fifty-five days after he took charge as the director at the crisis-ridden hospital, Dr L Narendranath has unveiled his plan of action for the future of the hospital, indicating that the hospital, whose image had taken a serious beating with a series of allegations earlier, is now back on the track for good.
To solve one of its biggest problems, that of lack of connectivity and co-ordination between departments, the hospital mulls establishment of a Hospital Information System (HIS) for better connectivity at an estimated cost of Rs 26 crore. However, it is learnt that the same could be installed at relatively lesser prices and the hospital was considering opening up competition to get lesser quotations.
At a press conference on Sunday, Dr Narendranath, a Padma Shri awardee with close to three decades of service at the hospital, explained the problems at the hospital that led to its worst crisis in the past.
According to him, he is at the end of understanding what they have, where they stand and what they require. “We have infrastructure problems, human resource problems but the basic problem is that of lack of planning. The buildings, for example, the main block and the new specialty block are not connected. There is no co-ordination between departments. Materials are not put to effective use and a lot of charges of corruption. Some operation theaters are not operational.”
Looking at the possible solutions, he further added, “We have approached government to provide us financial experts to help us in our budgetary planning. We are opening up every committee to become transparent. We have already thought of an alternative safe-footpath between the main and new building to put the latter to effective use.”
Despite the crisis in the past, he was of the opinion that the NIMS was still among the best medical service providers in the city. He pointed out that the NIMS still had one of the best Orthopedics, Neurology and Cardiology departments. “Seventy to eighty per cent of all common ailments can be treated here. We cannot include new specialties but with whatever we have, we are going to provide the best services to patients,” he said.
When asked about the changes in the hospital since his taking over, he said, the hospital at present was in a position to earn a revenue of around Rs one lakh everyday and this is achieved by making minor adjustments to the existing system. “We are taking all possible suggestions from patients, giving them better attention and care but on top of that we ensure that a patient does not occupy a bed in the Emergency Medical Department for more than 24 hours,” said the director.
Responding to corruption charges earlier leveled against many of the doctors, he said, “we are not going to sweep corruption allegations under the carpet.”
When asked about delay in admission of Arogyasri patients for operations, he said the issue was particular to only one department and that there was a delay in everything concerned with the department.
“I am reviewing the issue but no patient will have to leave the hospital due to lack of money,” he assured. In fact, he pointed out that out of about Rs 60 cr outstanding revenue with the hospital, about Rs 30 cr has to come from Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS), Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC), etc.
He also revealed that NIMS’ Bibinagar campus would be launched in another nine months to one year time and that the government sanctioned Rs 62 crore for it. “The full capacity of the hospital would be 1,500 plus beds, but in the next one year, we will make the first two floors operational,” he declared. The new campus would serve patients from districts like Nalgonda and Warangal.