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Lucknow: Going to PGI? Beware! Wait-list for cardiac, neuro patients stretches to 2021

If you are a cardiac or a neurosurgery patient planning to undergo a surgery at the Sanjay Gandhi Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) in Lucknow, you could have to wait as long as the year 2021 for your turn.

lucknow Updated: Dec 20, 2017 15:00 IST
Anupam Srivastava
Anupam Srivastava
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Lucknow,Healthcare,Poor state
The doctors at the institute are working under immense pressure. Insiders say there is a long waiting list of patients in every department.(Representative image)

If you are a cardiac or a neurosurgery patient planning to undergo a surgery at the Sanjay Gandhi Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) in Lucknow, you could have to wait as long as the year 2021 for your turn.

According to SGPGIM doctors, there are at least nine patients in queue for every bed due to which providing immediate attention to critical patients is a difficult task.

In numbers
  • Every year, SGPGIMS doctors examine 90,000 new patients and 2.84 lakh follow-up patients.
  • At least 10,000 surgeries are performed every year besides 25,000 dialysis, 16,500 endoscopy and 115 renal transplants.
  • On an average, doctors examine about 250 patients in 480 minutes (eight hours) in OPD which comes to 1.5 minutes per patient. Experts say a patient requires at least 7-10 minutes for detailed investigation.
  • Around 7,000 CT scans and 22,000 ultrasound tests are done in a year.
  • There are only nine operational beds at the critical care unit (CCU) which are always occupied by VVIPs. There is little scope of treatment for a common man at CCU. At least 40 beds are required at the CCU.

Addressing the institute’s foundation day programme on December 14, SGPGIMS director Dr Rakesh Kapoor said cardiac and neurosurgery patients were being given dates in 2021 while patients requiring kidney transplant were being asked to wait till 2019.

This shows that the doctors at the institute are working under immense pressure. Insiders say there is a long waiting list of patients in every department.

Patients who require renal transplant have to wait for at least a year while the waiting period for common surgery in urology and gastroenterology departments is three and six months, respectively.

Patients have to wait for two months for ultrasonography (ultrasound) and at least 15 days for a CT scan.

“Doctors cannot be blamed for the long waiting list. They have to examine hundreds of patients every day as there is no other centre of excellence around to support SGPGIMS,” said Dr Kapoor.

“If there is a rush of passengers, we run more trains and buses. Similarly, we have to increase the number of hospitals which can provide specialised treatment like SGPGIMS,” he added.

“Another option is to improve the existing infrastructure and increase the number of experts, operation theatres, nurses and other support staff,” Dr Kapoor said.

Claiming that every doctor examines over 250 patients daily, he said: “SGPGIMS has become the victim of its own success. Now, patients come to us with very common problems. Many a time doctors outside don’t want to treat patients with general complications and refer them to us.”

“Instead of research-oriented work, doctors here are busy examining patients who can be treated at any other hospital,” he rued.

Head of the department of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery (CVTS) Dr Nirmal Gupta said though patients were being given the dates of 2021 but if a case was critical they were flexible and ready to go the extra mile.

“Today, a patient whose surgery was scheduled for 2021 approached me as he had some complications. We admitted him as immediate surgery was required. We have a humane approach as patients are not numbers but human beings,” he said.

“There are two more hospitals in Lucknow – KGMU and Lohia Hospital – where facilities similar to SGPGIMS are available. They have similar equipment and manpower but load is only on SGPGIMS. We need to distribute this load judiciously on these institutes too. This is a short-term solution. Authorities should set up new facilities to find a permanent solution to the problem,” Dr Gupta said.

A 58-year-old cardiac patient BK Singh (name changed), who was given the date of 2021, said: “I met the doctor as I had some complication. They gave me a revised date of 15 days. They were kind enough to understand my discomfort. I worry for those who are not given early date and are forced to live with a disease even though they can get rid of it early through surgery.”

“SGPGIMS was established as a referral hospital. It was not a general care hospital. One should appreciate that the doctors here are examining patients three times more than any other hospital,” said medical superintendent Prof Amit Agarwal.

First Published: Dec 20, 2017 15:00 IST