Millennium Post
Delhi

As Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital springs to life, patients start pouring in

The empty hospitals — Janakpuri Super Speciality Hospital Society and Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality hospital — in the heart of the capital are emblematic of the paralysis gripping the public health system but now things at these hospitals have slightly improved.

At the 300-bed Janakpuri Super Speciality Hospital, gleaming marble-floored corridors disappear into dark wings, thick chains locking the doors of most of the five-storey
building. Wards lie empty, without beds. It officially opened in 2008.

In another part of the city of 16 million people, the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital sits in a landscaped 13-acre complex.
It started outpatient services in 2003 but more than a decade later, only 10 beds in emergency are being used — of the 650 the hospital
was built for — receive overnight patients.

Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital director Sunil Kumar said, "I had taken the charge of RGSSH in June 2016, with almost 20 percent of staff. Since, I have been putting my best effort to improve the condition of this super speciality hospital for the welfare of the patients."
He also said "The functioning of this hospital is much better than before, patients have been admitted and are taking treatment but only Delhi residents are getting free treatment on referral from other government set-ups. Moreover, the patients, who are non-residents of Delhi,have to pay for their treatment, diagnosis."

"We are expecting this hospital will be fully functional in next few upcoming months, as of now, development work has been halted because of the implementation of code of conduct due to the MCD election," he added.
"Currently, RGSSH is equipped enough to handle 250 patients but most of the patients belonging to this region do not want to spend money to get treatment here. If suppose the patient will get free treatment over
here too, this hospital will also be flooded with patients" he added. "Most of the wards and sections associated with this hospital are functional but cardiac (CTV) is not operation due to scarcity of major equipments which is needed to run this unit. We are in process of buying these machines and soon, the hospital will be equipped with these machines," Dr Sunil Kumar said.

A senior health official in New Delhi blamed delays plaguing Rajiv Gandhi and Janakpuri hospitals on the incompetence of government employees and a "lethargic and slow" process of selecting vendors. Fearing corruption charges, officials work in an environment of "procurement phobia. We will have to cross several steps to get clearances before laying even a brick," said an official, who asked not to
be named. Despite repeated attempts, Medical Superintendent and Assistant Medical Superintendent of Janakpuri Super Speciality Hospital Society did not respond to the call.
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