HYDERABAD: The Superintendent of Kondapur District Hospital, located in the IT hub of the State, is himself forced to handle the dead bodies and transfer them to the mortuary, on account of a staff crunch. It is learnt that due to the lack of staff, the otherwise well-equipped hospital is severely incapable of catering to patients, especially those affected with COVID-19.
"Around April this year, HYSEA (Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association) learnt about the acute staff shortage. To help them, we recruited 18 individuals as lab technicians, nurses, sanitation staff etc. and their salaries were borne by HYSEA. However, for ward-boy level staff, none are ready to work even for a remuneration of Rs 15,000," said Pradeep Gadicherla, an IT professional and a member of the NGO Feed the Needy, which is implementing the support program.
The primary duty of ward boys is to assist the patients and also help in transfer of the dead bodies on time to clear up the beds. "Every day, the hospital sees about 1-2 deaths. The Superintendent, apart from treating patients and seeing to administrative duties, is also shifting the bodies," Pradeep added.
On May 3, the Chief Secretary's office announced that the beds for COVID patients would be increased at area and district hospitals, without addressing the staff crunch. What is even more tragic is that the hospital, which comes under Telangana Vaidya Vidhana Parishad, had even received 50 functional ICU beds set up with ventilators as a donation from IT giant Amazon last year. However, most of these beds are lying idle.
"The hospital has immense potential to be equipped with 200 beds for moderate to serious cases, but currently, only mild to moderate cases are being treated here. Last week, on a request from Society for Cyberabad Security Council (SCSC), we had even visited the hospital with a group of specialists and found no specialist doctors or staffers. Our association has extended a proposal on how private doctors could temporarily provide assistance to run several ICU beds here," said Dr Naseem Majid, General Secretary of DAA DCMS (Deccan College of Medical Science Alumni Association).
At present, the hospital has 62 oxygen beds, 338 ICU beds and 10 regular beds. It does not have a full time Anesthesiologist, forcing the hospital to transfer critical patients to the already overburdened TIMS.