The Shaheed Babu Labh Singh Civil Hospital in Jalandhar continues to reel under a severe staff crunch despite repeated requests to the higher authorities in this connection.
The 400-bedded hospital requires around 150 trained nursing staff. However, it has only 95 staff nurses to attend to patients.
The hospital receives a large number of patients as Jalandhar is home to a huge migrant population who prefer affordable medical facilities at the hospital.
The gynaecology ward has 95 beds while it receives 100-110 patients for deliveries. Moreover, there are only three nurses on duty at one time to handle all these patients.
A staff nurse at the hospital said there are days when they are overworked and suffer from fatigue. Most of the patients visiting the hospital are accompanied by more than one attendant, thus making it difficult for the staff on duty handling the patients properly.
At one time, six to seven nurses are required to attend the patients. The matter has been taken up with the health department time and again, but to no avail.
Civil surgeon Dr RL Bassan said, “There is a certainly a shortage of staff at the civil hospital. But we are still faring better than other hospitals. We depute student staff nurses to cope up with the shortage at times. Soon after the Ludhiana incident, I have visited the gynaecology ward and inspected it. There are some lacunas but it will soon be sorted out.”
Several staff members said despite being overworked they are giving their best. They said the gynaecology and the paediatric department require specially trained staff and nursing student are not of much help.
There are three dialysis machines at the civil hospital, with the third machine having been installed recently. Dialysis provided at the hospital is almost free and hence poor patients flock the facility. There is just one trained senior nurse to handle these machines.
At times patients undergoing normal delivery are discharged before the scheduled time, as there are not enough attendants to cater to their needs. Similar incidents have also been reported from other departments.