Delhi chief minister Shiela Dikshit has sought a reason from the health department for their decision to shut down Sushruta Trauma Centre.
Although nothing has been finalized, sources in the Delhi health department say the trauma centre might become part of a new 450-bed orthopedic block at Lok Nayak Hospital.
The existing hospital, located on Outer Ring Road near Kashmere Gate inter-state bus terminal, will be converted to a mother and childcare hospital.
"By shifting it to Lok Nayak Hospital, we can develop a Level 3 trauma centre, where a tie-up with hospitals such as GB Pant and Lok Nayak will ensure that we have specialists on call. This will solve the problem of doctor shortage as both the hospitals have adequate number of neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons and anesthetists," said an official from department of health, Delhi government.
The trauma centre has been reeling under severe shortage of neurosurgeons and anesthetists since it was set up in 1999. Delhi government's efforts to fill in vacancies and improve infrastructure have failed.
"The fact is that our efforts to recruit doctors have not been successful. Putting in more money to renovate the existing building and procure new equipment will not help, we need full-time specialists, which we do not have," the official said.
However, doctors at Sushruta Trauma Centre disagree. "Supreme Court guidelines state that trauma centers should be located on highways. Traveling to the heart of the city to get treated would kill critical patients," said a doctor who did not wish to be named.