Telangana govt recommends razing of old Osmania General Hospital building

According to a report by Health Secretary, the building is structurally unsafe for patient care
Osmania General Hospital. (Photo | RVK Rao, EPS)
Osmania General Hospital. (Photo | RVK Rao, EPS)

HYDERABAD: Health, Medical and Family Welfare Secretary SAM Rizvi on Friday submitted a comprehensive report before the Telangana High Court on the construction of a new building for Osmania General Hospital (OGH) in response to a batch of pending PILs and writ petitions.

As per the report, the existing old building of OGH, constructed in 1926, is no longer suitable for providing modern medical facilities to patients and has become structurally unsafe for patient care. As a result, the old building needs to be removed, along with other satellite buildings, to make way for the development of a new hospital building that adheres to the Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS), National Building Code 2016 (NBC), and other relevant guidelines.

The report says that taking into account the deteriorating condition of the old building, the hospital administration vacated it in 2020, leading to a decrease in the effective bed strength of OGH from 1,385 to 1,100. This resulted in overcrowding in other wards, and putting additional pressure on sanitation and other facilities.

As per the report, a two-member expert committee was appointed under the direction of the High Court. This committee included a structural engineer nominated by IIT-Hyderabad director, and the head of the Archaeological Survey of India, Telangana. Their evaluation concluded that the current condition of the building is unsafe for hospital purposes and cannot be used in its present state. Additionally, the committee provided suggestions concerning the heritage buildings in the vicinity.

Following the High Court’s directions, a meeting chaired by the Health Minister was held with other Ministers, public representatives, officials, and experts. During the meeting, experts unanimously opined that the existing building was not safe for hospital operations and emphasised the need for a full-fledged new hospital. The central issue was that the old building, situated in the middle of the land parcel, was hindering the development of a new hospital. Therefore, it was agreed that keeping the old building, which was unsuitable for hospital purposes would be inappropriate.

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The New Indian Express