Sushruta Trauma Centre (STC), Delhi government’s only trauma care centre, which was functioning without a neurosurgeon now has to make do without a radiologist.
Located on Outer Ring Road near Inter-state Bus Terminal, Kashmere Gate, the only Delhi government trauma care hospital, has both the “must- haves” — a neuro surgeon and radiologist — for any emergency care missing.
The hospital caters to at least 50 new trauma cases daily and does 150 major surgeries every month. “Ever since STC came up in 1998, it has been reeling under severe shortage of neuro-surgeons and anaesthetists and now they have no radiologists. Let alone, senior consultant radiologists, there are no resident doctors to fill in for them either,” said a doctor requesting anonymity.
“All efforts by the health department to fill in vacancies and improve infrastructure have failed,” he said.
Doctors at STC are unhappy with the Delhi health department for turning a blind eye to the need of trauma care centres in the Capital.
“In a trauma centre, most cases are of that of head or spine injuries. In such a scenario having no neurosurgeon or radiologist is irresponsible,” said another senior doctor in the trauma centre, requesting anonymity.
“We are aware of the problem. In the last two months we have recruited over 500 junior and senior doctors and at least 500 para-medical staff for all our hospitals. In the next 10 days we are hoping the new appointees will be allotted hospitals, thereby sorting the problem,” said Dr AK Walia, Delhi health minister.
Another major issue haunting the STC is that it is not attached to a big hospital for specialist back-up, like is the practice world over.
It was de-linked from Lok Nayak Hospital and set up as an independent unit in February 2007. Trauma centres are attached to big hospitals and are required to keep 30 per cent beds free for disasters and emergencies.
Patients, as per the rules, are to be shifted to the trauma centre’s parent body after being administered primary medical care within 96 hours. The practice of keeping beds vacant for other trauma victims just does not exist here.
“One there is an acute shortage of specialists, only one OT works, most imaging machines are dysfunctional and most patients keep waiting as surgeries are delayed because of non-availability of surgeons,” said a doctor.