CUTTACK: Even as two new operation theatres (OTs) of Orthopaedic Surgery department of SCB Medical College and Hospital lie unused since the last over two years, a decision to impose restrictions on the existing two is set to hit patients hard. In a departmental order, the authorities have decreed that the regular orthopaedics OT would only function between 9 am and 5 pm while the emergency OT will be open only for emergency cases. The repercussions would be severe for the 150-bed department which is overflowing with patients at any given point of time. With an average 10 patients requiring surgery per day, the restrictions will not only delay operations but also force patients to shift to private hospitals and nursing homes, sources said. The regular OT used to function till late in the evening to complete the total or maximum listed cases for the day. This was to ensure that there was no or minimal backlog for the consultant surgeon who would have his next OT duty after a week.
By restricting the time, the waitlist will increase, leaving patients with the option of either to wait for more than a week or move out. And most would choose to shift from the hospital with touts and private nursing homes taking advantage of the situation, sources said. The impact on emergency surgeries would also be severe as a decapitated emergency OT is almost dependant on the regular OT for even basic instruments like drills, Boyles anaesthesia apparatus and other equipment. The new order of closing down the regular OT after 5 pm will also shut down the emergency OT putting the life of critically injured cases at serious risk. Sources said the problems could have been resolved if the authorities were keen enough to operationalise the two new OTs that have been lying in a state of disuse for over two years. The sophisticated equipment, which were installed in the OT, are also gathering dust in the process. The hospital administration has also expressed concern over the state of affairs. “The new OTs are ready with infrastructure and equipment. We will take expedient steps to get them operationalised. As for the order for OT regulation, we will look into the matter,” hospital administrator Pratap Mishra said.