Ailing govt hospitals get new buildings

No solution in sight to severe shortage of staff in Vani Vilas and Victoria Hospital

On Thursday, three more buildings were added to the grand old hospitals, which are considered to be the hospitals for the poor.

Minister for Medical Education S A Ramdas and former minister Ramachandra Gowda dedicated the buildings to the people. These three buildings came up with a total expenditure of Rs 13.15 crore including OPD Block of Vani Vilas Hospital (Rs 2 crore), OPD Block for Victoria Hospital (Rs 10.45 crore) and renovation of pediatric, obstetrics, gynaecology and OPD sections (Rs 70 lakh).

This is in addition to the super-speciality block, which is under construction and would come up next to these buildings at a cost of Rs 127 crore. However, there is no clarity on how these buildings can function effectively, when the hospitals themselves are ailing due to the severe shortage of staff.

Sources in the two hospitals said the hospital has about 400 doctors as against the 530-odd sanctioned posts. “We need an additional 125 postgraduate doctors in the hospital to fill the sanctioned posts. Another 100 doctors are needed to run the hospital in a proper way,” said a top ranking doctor.

In 1935, when Vani Vilas Hospital was established, it was decided to have at least 105 nurses based on the population of the City before Independence.

Unfilled posts
Today, the autonomous government hospital is not in a position to fill up the posts, which were sanctioned 76 years ago. The hospital has a mere 46 nurses while 59 posts are lying vacant. To serve in the additional blocks and departments in the new buildings at least 300 nurses are required.

The story of 111-year-old Victoria Hospital is no different. This hospital is not able to fill the posts, which were sanctioned 100 years ago. Grade-2 staff nurses required for the hospital 100 years ago was 21 but presently 13 posts are lying vacant. Sanctioned posts of senior staff nurse is 45 while vacant posts are seven and the number of staff nurses sanctioned for the hospital is 146 while the staff nurses working here is 114.

Sources in the hospital said the Nursing Council of India recommends that the nurse and patient ratio should be 1:3. Based on this the total nurses required here are 350 but the hospital is managing with 165 nurses.

These two autonomous government hospitals charge the patients for each of their services including the ward, food and surgical operations but very little is provided in terms of facilities to the patients.

A government nurse said their work is exhausting as each one of them performs the work of two nurses.

Dr O S Siddappa, dean and director of Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI) admitted that there is acute shortage of staff and the Institute management has written a letter to the Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA) to fill the vacant posts.
“We also have written letter to the government to increase the number of sanctioned posts.”

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