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Affordable healthcare still a far cry

The district health department faced many ups and downs in 2012.

gurgaon Updated: Dec 27, 2012 01:43 IST
Himabindu Reddy

The district health department faced many ups and downs in 2012.

Although the health sector faced challenges in the form of dengue menace, which assumed epidemic proportions, the city also witnessed expansion of healthcare facilities.

The spurt in dengue cases kept the health officials on their toes in 2012.

The virus claimed one life and infected 469 persons as compared to 156 cases and three deaths in 2011.

Even as the cases of dengue continued to spiral, city hospitals reported shortage of beds. Gurgaon has a total of 250 hospitals, with a bed capacity of about one lakh.

Still patients had to wait up to two days to get admitted.

Besides, six cases of swine flu and 635 cases of malaria were also reported at city hospitals.

On the bright side, two hospitals opened in Gurgaon this year - Fortis Memorial Research Institute and St Stephen's Hospital in DLF Phase 3.

Moving a step towards better healthcare, the city also got its stem cell bank, LifeCell International, at Manesar.

"A huge amount of money was spent to upgrade the health sector in 2012. It was a good year but a lot more needs to be achieved," said Dr Kalyan Sachdev, founder of Privat Hospital, Gurgaon's first hospital to treat medical tourists.

"It is high time that funds are diverted towards more doctors, nurses, paramedical institutions. We have the state-of-art, now we need an affordable facility," he added.

The city's first-ever burns ward also opened at the Civil Hospital. However, the six-bed burns ward does not treat patients with more than 40% burns.

None of the multi-specialty hospitals in the city have a burns ward and do not admit serious burns cases. Such patients are referred to Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi.

Meanwhile, doctors in the city are of the opinion that Gurgaon has earned a good name in the healthcare sector. "The city saw significant growth this year in terms of health facilities. We now have to focus on looking after poor patients," said Dr SP Yadav, Pushpanjali Hospital, Civil Lines. "The aim of every health institution in 2013 should be to decrease the cost of healthcare and make treatments affordable," he added.