Hyderabad: Osmania Hospital reels under severe bed crunch

Hyderabad: Even as the state-run Gandhi hospital is all set to restart its non-COVID-19 treatment, the other major government centre, Osmania General Hospital (OGH), is reeling under pressure as it is running out of beds to accommodate critical patients. Senior government officials said that while OGH has only 33 surgery beds, the hospital has at least 45 patients. 

The situation is so pathetic, said some doctors from OGH, that patients are also being made to wait in trolleys and wheelchairs due to lack of beds. The problem has worsened as OGH’s main heritage building has also been shut since July 22 after rain water entered it and flooded the ground floor wards. 

The hospital is primarily running out of the Quli Qutb Shah block, which has been facing several infrastructure issues ever since the main building was closed. “Patients have to wait in trolleys and in wheelchairs often due to the current situation. We are getting a lot of calls everyday asking if they can admit critical patients, but we can’t do anything,” said a senior OGH official, who did not want to be named. 

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He added that the OGH administration will talk to state Health Minister Eatala Rajender to address the issue. The state government, said the OGH official, will also be requested to resume non-COVID-19 services at Gandhi hospital, which was turned into the nodal healthcare centre to treat people soon after the novel virus was reported in Hyderabad earlier this year.   

“Junior doctors have been on strike at Gandhi to reopen non-COVID treatment. Our junior doctors have also supported their demand,” stated the OGH official. Moreover, it may be recalled that shutting down OGH’s main building has been counter-productive given that the Quli Qutb Shah has been hit by various infrastructure issues, including patches of roofs falling down recently. 

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Gandhi to resume services from November 21, students still on protest

While shortage of beds remains a major issue, another problem with turning Gandhi hospital (which is also a medical college) into a COVID-19 treatment centre only is that medical students have not been able to attend classes or finish any of their course work. Students from the institute have been protesting from the past week, as they are afraid of losing their academic year. 

“The management has agreed to some of our demands, but calling Gandhi only a COVID-19 designated hospital is our problem,” said a medical student from Gandhi hospital.

However, on Tuesday, the director of medical education issued orders to resume all non-COVID-19 services in all departments on or before 21 November.

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