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Healthcare horror

Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital is getting a facelift for accreditation. But as far as facilities are concerned, lots and lots need to be done, reports Jaya Shroff Bhalla.

health and fitness Updated: Dec 12, 2008 23:57 IST
Jaya Shroff Bhalla

Here, patients are transferred from one hospital to another in mortuary vans. Doctors shut clinics before time for fear of patients and their attendants. Patients complain that medicines at the hospital are out of stock. There is always a shortage of beds, doctors and nurses.

This is Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital, a government hospital, and it has applied for accreditation for its quality healthcare services from the Quality Council of India under the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers.

The quality council team arrives at the hospital next week for pre-assessment before initiating the process of accreditation. The hospital is spending Rs 12 lakh (to be paid in four installments) on consultants for a cosmetic facelift — with signboards, a whitewash job, fountains in the garden and green grass.

A senior doctor at the hospital, on condition of anonymity, said: “The only difference the consultants have brought about are the new blue and white signage that are confusing. Similarly, the hospital has spent lakhs on needless nonfunctional fountains. The money could have been used for patient care facilities.”

On December 1, Dr Kuldeep Kumar, a senior resident in the Orthopaedics Department of the hospital, was forced to borrow a mortuary van to transfer a critically ill patient to G B Pant Hospital. LNJP Hospital has two ambulances, according to its website, and none of them were in running condition.

“All this (talk about accreditation) sounds like a joke. The hospital has to first reach level zero, before trying to get positive accreditation. Everything is in the negative here -- process, infrastructure and the outcome,” said a senior consultant with the hospital.

Last month, Dr Dinesh Dhanwal, a senior consultant in the Medicine Department, shut his bi-weekly diabetes clinic almost an hour before time because of overcrowding. “Despite several complaints to the administration about security, nothing has been done. Four clinics catering to over 400 patients have one attendant and no security,” he said.

There is a 30 per cent shortage of doctors. The Emergency does not have the facility of central oxygen supply.

Medical Superintendent Dr Swaraj Batra insisted that re-tendering for a central supply of oxygen has been done and the matter will be sorted out soon. It is another matter that she’s been claiming this for a year, but the hospital is still to show any sign of things improving.

“Patients have to buy them from outside,” said a junior resident doctor.

On Friday, when HT called Dr Batra, she refused to comment on the matter.