Delay in work on new block worsens burns ward woes

Unit at Victoria Hospital will get more space once casualty, emergency wards move out

Delay in work on new block worsens burns ward woes

The delay in the execution of work by contractors entrusted with the task of completing the new building at Victoria Hospital has only extended the struggle period for patients in the State-run hospital’s burns ward. 

Had the work been completed on time, it would have meant fresh air, at least 40 additional beds and less risk of infection for patients who have been admitted here for burns. For over a year now, the plan to shift casualty and emergency unit out of the present premises, so that burns ward has more space and facilities, has only been on paper.

The burns ward is one of the most sought-after sections in the hospital. At the same time, it is one of the least patient-friendly wards. Housed along with the emergency section of this Bangalore Medical College Hospital, the ward has a number of issues that need to be addressed.

Earlier this year, Vimochana, a women’s group, had staged a silent protest demanding that the casualty unit be moved out to ensure better conditions for patients. 

Donna Fernandes of Vimochana told Deccan Herald that excuses galore were given for the delay in the execution of the project.

“Initially, we were told that there was an election code of conduct in place. After a lot of effort, we were able to reach the minister and were told that the legislature session was on,” she said.

Statistics show that at least 400 women have died due to burns over the past seven months, Fernandes said.

Dr Sharanprakash Patil, Minister for Medical Education, said the contractors were at fault. “Those who were given the task failed to complete it on time. This has led to a delay in the entire process,” he added.

He said the contractors were now given a 15-day deadline within which the building is to be handed over in a condition ready for occupation. 

“It is in the final stages. Painting work is on. Soon, the casualty ward will be shifted. We will then have additional beds for the burns ward,” Patil said.

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