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Paediatric ward in a shambles, says PGI doctor

The hospital is burdened because of the large number of cases referred to it from neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and others, say docs.

punjab Updated: Nov 05, 2017 15:15 IST
Arshdeep Arshi
Arshdeep Arshi
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Paediatric ward,in a shambles,PGI doctor
During the conference, experts demanded strengthening of emergency paediatrics care units in the country. (Representative image )

Condition of the paediatric department at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, is in shambles, as it lacks the required infrastructure, said Dr Arun K Baranwal, an associate professor at the department of paediatric medicine.

Speaking to Hindustan Times on the sidelines of the 19th National Conference of Paediatric Intensive Care, here, he said, “There are only 22 beds in the paediatric emergency ward but the number of patients at all times is around 60-70.”

He added that the situation in the adjoining states is no different. Experts had gathered at the conference that was organised by the Paediatric Critical Care Team, Advanced Paediatrics Centre, PGIMER, at The Lalit, Chandigarh on Saturday. During the conference, experts demanded strengthening of emergency paediatrics care units in the country.

“The need is to strengthen peripheral hospitals and care units. We need more medical colleges so that the load on PGIMER can be divided.”

Speaking about the burden of cases at PGIMER, Dr Baranwal said, “The hospital is burdened because of the large number of cases referred to it from neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and others. Nearly 70% of the total cases attended at PGIMER are the ones referred here from outside.”

“Patients are forced to come here because the local hospitals are understaffed and ill-equipped,” he added. Dr Baranwal also informed that owing to the limited infrastructure at PGIMER, the capacity of the paediatric ward cannot be enhanced.

“The need is to strengthen peripheral hospitals and care units. We need more medical colleges so that the load on PGIMER can be divided,” he said.

‘One hospital can’t handle all cases’

Speaking to Hindustan Times, Dr Paolo Biban, president of World Federation of Paediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies, said, “There has to be common criteria to deal with the referral cases. One hospital cannot take care of all cases.”

He added, “Doctors at local health units need to carefully identify patients who need special care and refer only them to PGIMER. A better system needs to be in place to ensure this.”

Dr Sunit Singhi, a paediatrician at Medanta, Gurgaon, and former head of department of paediatrics at PGIMER, said, “The system is at fault and needs to be updated. There should be at least one intensive care unit in every district.”

He added that past governments should have invested on establishing more medical colleges. “The fact is, they failed to do so,” he said.

First Published: Nov 05, 2017 15:13 IST