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Chandigarh: 10 yrs on, GMCH’s advanced trauma centre remains a distant dream

The lackadaisical approach of the Chandigarh health officers has caught the attention of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. During the last hearing, the HC had asked for the status of the emergency block and the advanced trauma centre. 

punjab Updated: May 21, 2018 16:15 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh,GMCH,advanced trauma centre
The court had even asked the health secretary to check whether a standalone trauma centre is still required in Sector 53, which is far away from Sector 32. (HT File )

In 2008, 9.6 acres of land in Sector 53 was allotted to Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, for construction of a 300-bed Advanced Trauma Centre, however, ten years on, the authorities have only been able to construct a boundary wall.

The lackadaisical approach of the UT health officers has caught the attention of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. During the last hearing, the HC had asked for the status of the emergency block and the advanced trauma centre.

The court had even asked the health secretary to check whether a standalone trauma centre is still required in Sector 53, which is far away from Sector 32.

4 director principals came
but project saw no progress

In the last ten years, the hospital has been headed by four director-principals—Dr Raj Bahadur, Dr Atul Sachdev, Dr AK Janmeja and Dr BS Chavan —but no one seemed to have taken much interest in the project.

On February 5, 2008, the ministry of health and family welfare approved the proposal to establish a 300-bed trauma centre in Chandigarh as an extension of GMCH-32. On June 20, 2008, the Chandigarh administration earmarked a site for the trauma centre in Sector 53.

During Dr Atul Sachdev’s tenure, a plan was made and funds were sought from the government, but there was no progress.

“It is a very old issue. Around 10 years ago, GMCH got a letter from the central government, proposing to construct a trauma centre on the highway. A land was allotted in Sector 53 but it was illegally occupied by a few people who constructed a gurdwara on it. It took us three years to vacate the land,” said a senior officer who wishes not to be named.

“In 2016, a team visited the site to study the design of an apex trauma centre and made a plan. A proposal was sent for funds to the central government but till date there is no approval. As there was no grant, no detailed project report (DPR) was made,” said the officer.

The DPR was submitted to the centre only on September 20, 2017, and budget was sought.

The letter written by Parimal Rai to the ministry mentions, “A detailed project report of the trauma centre has been prepared and is being sent for perusal. I would be grateful if you could have the matter looked into so that necessary approval is accorded to the DPR and requisite budget for setting up trauma centre is sanctioned by the government.”

A senior officer said, “So far, none of the officers had prepared a DPR, which is first and most crucial step to start the process.” He said, “Now, when we approached the central government seeking monetary help for the construction of the standalone trauma centre, we were informed that the government has stopped funding standalone trauma centres.”

When asked if the hospital needs a standalone trauma centre, which is around 6 kilometres away from the hospital, the doctor said, “Ideally, the advanced trauma centre should be within the hospital and next to the emergency.”

Neither the director principal nor the health secretary were available for comments despite repeated attempts.

Status of Emergency Block:

An affidavit submitted by Dr BS Chavan to the high court regarding setting up of a trauma and emergency centre in Chandigarh mentions that the construction of 193 bedded emergency block will start soon.

“The drawings have been approved. The rough cost estimate amounting to Rs 41 crore for the construction of emergency block and rough cost amounting to Rs 83.17 lakh for providing firefighting system in new emergency system and rough cost of Rs 4,40, 32, 500 for providing HVAS system for the said block has already been approved and conveyed to the engineering department.”

First Published: May 21, 2018 16:10 IST