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Games boost for govt hospitals

The Commonwealth Games has come as a boon for long-pending expansion and ugradation projects in Delhi hospitals reports Rhythma Kaul.

delhi Updated: Mar 04, 2010 23:25 IST
Rhythma Kaul

The Commonwealth Games has come as a boon for long-pending expansion and ugradation projects in Delhi hospitals.

Many such projects are now getting fast-track clearance.

"Thanks to the Games, many proposals, which were otherwise gathering dust, are getting ministry clearances comparatively faster," said Dr T.S. Sidhu, medical superintendent (MS), Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital.

RML's 30-year-old dilapidated emergency block, for example, is getting a new building. Permission for renovating the block had been pending for close to three years.

The hospital was surprised to get permissions for both renovation and construction of a new building this year.

"Renovation would have been a temporary solution, we anyway needed a new emergency building. Under normal circumstances, the proposal would have taken a lot of time. With the Games approaching, we had it easy," said Dr Sidhu.

The designated hospitals for Commonwealth Games are RML, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Trauma Centre, Safdarjung and Delhi government-run GB Pant.

The AIIMS Trauma Centre has asked for permission to expand its 120 beds to 250. Since the Centre has no private ward, it has asked for approval for a 15-bed private ward.

"Commonwealth Games has definitely helped in us in getting permission, especially for structural changes. We expect several proposals floated about two years ago to come through before the Games, which would have taken longer,” said Dr M.C. Misra, chief AIIMS Trauma Centre.

G.B. Pant Hospital, the only Delhi government-run hospital designated for the Games, is refurbishing the entire hospital infrastructure on its own.

"We haven't been given a single rupee in the name of Commonwealth Games; we have used our own funds. Right now, the government is pretty lenient with permissions and don't say no to proposals that otherwise would have taken phenomenal time to get cleared," said Dr Veena Choudhary, director, GB Pant.

"The complaints about delays are true to some extent, and we are doing our best to deal with the shortcomings. It's not just pertaining to the Games, we are in the process of improving healthcare per se ," said Delhi Health Minister Kiran Walia.

The good news is that the amenities will be there to stay. "The Games will last two weeks, so our new facilities will ultimately cater to the needs of our patients," said Dr Misra.