The upcoming Commonwealth Games are proving to be a life-boosting shot in the arm for two of Delhi's most crowded hospitals.
Ram Manohar Lohia and GB Pant — among the three healthcare institutes designated as nodal healthcare points for the Games — are getting new, cutting-edge emergency blocks in time for the sporting extravaganza, scheduled in October 2010.
Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital's emergency unit will finally shift out of its ramshackle 50-year-old building to a new block by August end. Doctors say the change has been long awaited for the hospital that treats more than 5,000 people per day.
Renovation proposals for RML — established by the British 77 years ago — have a history of getting tangled in bureaucratic red tape. But being on the Commonwealth Games roster is set to break the jinx.
“Things are moving much faster; the ministry doesn't want to take any chances as far as the Games are concerned,” said Dr T S Sidhu, medical superintendent (MS), who took charge of RML two months ago.
The new building, facing the old emergency block, will have a casualty department, a 10-bedded ICU and a 20-bedded isolation ward that will initially be used for Games-related cases, but will be open to the general public thereafter.
Medicines and diagnostic facilities will be available 24X7 by September; with departments such as microbiology, radiology, pathology and the Blood Bank and a chemist shop functioning around the clock.
“The proposal has been cleared and we are in the process of floating tenders and completing other formalities to make it happen,” said Dr Sidhu.
Vacancies are being filled to ensure all departments run optimally.
RML's fleet of ambulances will also go up from the current six - four basic and two advanced life support - to 10. "We've got permission to procure four more ambulances for the Games, but these will be eventually used to ferry patients from Delhi and the NCR," said Dr Sidhu.
At GB Pant
GB Pant — the only Delhi government hospital designated as a healthcare venue for the Games — may be a specialty unit, but it was sorely missing an emergency department up till now.
“A state-of-the-art emergency was for long our dream. I'm glad it finally happened,” said the newly appointed nodal officer for the Commonwealth Games, Dr Rajeev Sagar.
The Emergency will be equipped with 10 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds, with radiology, computed tomography (CT) scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) support on the same floor to optimize time. It will initially be exclusively blocked for Games participants and officials but will open to the general public once the Games are over.
“We will mainly be handling cardiology, cardiac surgery, neurology and neurosurgery cases, apart from providing common trauma care," said Dr Veena Choudhary, Director, GB Pant.
The new Emergency will have a separate entry and exit, with the old hospital building effectively walled away from view of the Commonwealth patients. The hospital has also acquired a 256-slice CT scanner for maximum image clearance.
“This is a first for any Delhi government hospital and will help in more accurate diagnosis,” said Dr Sagar.
The hospital will also provide a base for two of Delhi government's fleet of 150 ambulances within its premises.
The second floor will have a centralised laboratory connected to the blood bank, with a day-care centre for patients taking up the third floor.
“By next month, we'll have all these functional for our patients. This way, we'll also get to know if there's any loophole anywhere, so that we get time to plug it,” said Dr Sagar.