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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

‘Instead of spending on construction, PGI should improve patient care’

  Updated: Sep 29, 2019 16:52 IST

Several buildings of the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGI), Lucknow, constructed at a cost of billions of rupees, are not being used for the purposes for which they were erected. Some of these constructions are the centre of hepatobiliary diseases & liver transplant, and the five-storey library building.

Balbir Singh Maan, an official of social organisation ‘Ummeed’, which on September 13 demonstrated against the PGI authorities and the alleged lack of quality patient care at the institute, said, “The funds spent on constructing these buildings could have been used for improving patient care.”

“The building housing the centre of hepatobiliary diseases and liver transplant was made at a whopping cost of Rs 200 crore (2 billion). Today, it is being used for operating gall bladder stones,” said Maan, adding that Lucknowites were forced to travel to Delhi for liver transplants despite advanced infrastructure existing in the state capital.

“Similarly the library building, constructed at a cost of around Rs 100 crore (1 billion), has been lying unused. Now, to justify the expenses incurred in erecting it, the hospital authorities have shifted some administrative offices there,” he added.

Citing an incident in which a 13-year-old girl suffering from aplastic anaemia was allegedly forcibly discharged from the PGI because her family could not afford her treatment and she died soon afterwards, Maan said, “Instead of constructing buildings one after another, they (PGI authorities) should focus on caring for poor patients. They already have several buildings that are not being used properly and hundreds of patients who are refused admission in the emergency ward daily. There is a long waiting list for getting ultrasounds and CT scans performed at the institute.”

He also rued the construction of the new OPD building where a huge space had been set aside for expanding the emergency ward. “Despite the space for expansion, the number of emergency beds has remained fixed at 30 in the past decade. That’s why many emergency cases brought to hospital are refused admission,” Maan alleged.

A doctor of the PGI, on condition of anonymity, admitted that at the institute, emphasis was placed on construction activity, as “it gave heavy cuts/ commissions”. “A five-storey library was constructed in this digital era. Everyone knew there would be no utilisation of the library but it was still constructed. Now, to justify the expenditure, the authorities have shifted offices of the departments of hospital administration and biostatistics there,” he said.

When contacted, chief medical superintendent of the PGI, Prof Amit Agarwal, said, “The liver transplant unit will start transplant procedures soon. Yes, there have been failures but now, we are hopeful that the department will start liver transplants soon.”

To recall, PGI doctors had performed a liver transplant on January 24, this year, in the newly built centre of hepatobiliary diseases & liver transplant. However, the procedure turned out to be a failure.

Talking about various offices being shifted to the library building, Prof Agarwal said, “The hospital administration has already shifted the departments of biostatistics and hospital administration there. We are planning to shift some more departments to that building.”




First Published: Sep 29, 2019 16:52 IST

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