Millennium Post

New emergency block at Safdarjung Hospital to help ease load of patients

New Delhi: In a major relief for trauma patients in Delhi, Safdarjung Hospital has decided to throw open to public its new emergency block in next few months. It will have 500 beds, including nearly 100 ICU beds, and 17 operation theatres-the largest for any public hospital in the country.
"The superspeciality block will have 850 beds for specialties such as cardiac surgery, neurosurgery and urology, among others," sources said. At present, the hospital has about 1,600 beds, including 80 beds, with ventilator support.
A senior official at Safdarjung said that the patient load is much higher, which puts a strain on services. "There are times when two patients have to be accommodated on one bed for emergency care or till the time a bed is allotted. We cannot refuse admission because most patients coming here are poor who cannot afford private treatment." He further added that infrastructure upgrade will help avoid such crisis in future.
According to senior doctors, apart from adding equipment and state-of-the-art facilities, Safdarjung would require adding manpower to run the upcoming facilities. Recruitment of nurses for the upcoming emergency and super-specialty block has been approved already. Officials said the requirement of doctors and other staff was also being assessed.
With these changes, Safdarjung hospital is also looking to change its image–from a poor man's last resort to a modern super-specialty hospital.
Moreover, the central hospital has, among other things, a provision for a paid ward in the upcoming super-specialty block. "The purpose is to encourage CGHS beneficiaries to get treatment at the hospital, instead of getting operated at private facilities and seeking reimbursements," doctor added.
However, "AIIMS too has a private ward, but waiting period for neurosurgery, cardiac surgery and cancer treatment is so long that government employees often switch to private hospitals for treatment. Most of the beneficiaries, have to pay the bills from their pocket, over and above the sanctioned amount for a particular surgery at these hospitals under the CGHS scheme," doctor informed.
Safdarjung Hospital started functioning in 1954. Since then, the number of beds has gone up from 204 to nearly 1,600 beds. Many doctors at Safdarjung grumble about neglect by the government. "We are happy that the government is finally focusing on this hospital," said an official.
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