Debate of the week: Time to take measures to unburden PGIMER

  • Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Apr 21, 2015 15:31 IST

When the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, celebrated its golden jubilee in 2012, all former directors and professors came together on a rare occasion.

And almost everyone expressed a common concern about how to save the PGIMER from slipping away from its original mandate, “To broaden the horizons of medical knowledge by intensive research in the field of health”.

In almost every sphere, from emergency to surgery, the number of patients has increased manifold — if in 1990 the PGIMER emergency was getting around 18,000 patients, the number swelled to 72,000 by the end of 2014.

In the OPDs, the institute examined 22 lakh patients last year. A large number of these patients were those who could be treated at any local hospital.

Health economics experts say this period of the past two decades was when the neighbouring states were reducing the spending in the health sector, which led to weakening of the care services in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. The brunt of this escapism by the state governments was ultimately borne by the PGIMER.

Though now a fresh hope has arisen with the announcement of setting up a new AIIMS each in Punjab and Himachal, it is difficult to say how much time these institute will take to come up.

Amid this scenario, undoubtedly the real mandate of the PGIMER was indeed a casualty. And it made a lot of sense when one of the most respected doctors of the institute during golden jubilee celebration said, “We are celebrating 50 glorious years; that is fine. But the future scares me as the PGIMER is being turned into a civil hospital. It was not the mandate with which it was set up.”

How much was the PGIMER able to broaden the horizons of medical knowledge and carry out intensive research in the field of health? Only time will tell.

In the past five years, the PGIMER officials have made a lot of hue and cry about getting patients which don’t require treatment at a tertiary care-level hospital. So, is it not time to accept the harsh reality and learn to say ‘no’ to those who can be treated elsewhere?

PGI should only attent to patients with serioud ailments

Set up with the aim to broaden the horizons of medical knowledge by intensive research in the field of health, the PGIMER has been reduced to a hospital that’s even examining patients that can be treated at any hospital.

To ease its burden, patients not requiring tertiary-level care should be referred to local hospitals. Do you agree?

Send in your response and suggestions in not more than 100 words with your contact information and high-resolution photograph by April 26 to chandigarh@

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