A growing demand for trauma centres in the Capital has prompted the state health ministry to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Centre to develop a dedicated 30-bed rehabilitation centre.
The centre would cater to unidentified and unattended patients who require prolonged supportive care.
The centre, for which the MoU was signed last month, will be attached to the Delhi government-run Guru Tegh Bahadur (GTB) Hospital and will have all basic care facilities, including a physiotherapy department. GTB orthopaedics head Dr Sudhir Kumar has been appointed the nodal officer.
“The central government will run this centre for us for five years and will provide manpower and material. The state will take it over after that,” said Kiran Walia, State Health Minister. “We understand the need of prolonged supportive care and this step is aimed at lessening the burden at trauma centres.”
Most of these patients suffer from severe head injuries and are in a vegetative state in the hospital. They are either fully or partially brain dead, but as there is no one to look after them, trauma centres are forced to keep them.
Apart from neurological patients, there are orthopaedic ones, who take their time to recover after treatment is over.
They survive the acute injury due to the efficient care received in hospitals. But acute care beds are scarce and some of these patients stay on for six months or longer waiting to be identified, and families of many refuse to take them back on the pretext of lack of resources.
“This problem of long-term rehabilitation of patients who are non-functional and non-productive for society and who may take long to recover is worldwide,” said Dr M.C. Misra, head, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Trauma Centre. “Something needs to be done urgently since they occupy acute care beds and deny a chance to other acutely injured patients.”