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Civil Hospital to get a face-lift Wednesday, July 4, 2001
By Radha Sharma, The Times of India News Service
AHMEDABAD: The name Civil Hospital invariably conjures up images of long queues, apathetic staff, filthy wards and unhygeinic surroundings. But if a government plan to revamp the place is anything to go by, Asia's largest public hospital is all set for a drastic transformation from an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan!
Majestic entrance gates, concrete pavements lined by blooming flowers and lush greenery, spacious out-patient halls, comfortable chairs for patients-in-waiting, clean and renovated toilets, refurbished special rooms, garbage chutes to ensure cleanliness ... the list of proposed makeover under the 'Operation Face-lift' is almost endless.
For anyone who has had the misfortune of visiting the Civil Hospital as a patient would swear at the sheer number of queues one is supposed to stand in to get one's case-paper. And, if one wants to also consult a doctor from another department, queue up once again. You are an old patient and have come for a follow-up? Never mind, stand in a queue again! "All this will change with the booklet we propose to give to patients. No standing in queues for case-papers; just get an entry made in the record book, and that's it. It will be like your permanent passport at the hospital," says principal health secretary SK Nanda, the brain behind the face-lift.
It is often referred tongue-in-cheek that if you do not have money to get the sophisticated treadmill stress-test done, go to Civil Hospital as a patient! Sans any patient-guides or direction-boards for guidance, patients are put to a real stress-test as drag themselves from one floor to another, from this building to the next in search of that elusive X-ray or diagnostic test facility.
"We realise that lack of proper guidance inconveniences poor patients. To overcome this we have planned to put up 450 direction boards giving precise directions across the hospital," says hospital superintendent Dr Anil Chaddha.
Work on pavement has already begun as has work to put the ornamental gates in place. Work to whitewash and paint the buildings, spread over 110 acres, has also begun. Plans are also underway to beautify small corners across the hospital, to lift spirits of sick patients and gloomy relatives.
But is the makeover going to be purely cosmetic?
"We are planning a major thrust on academic training with almost 7-8 courses short-term courses on intensive-care training, blood banking and other specialised aspects being worked out," said Chaddha.
In a significant bid to strengthen hospital services, plans are afoot to form an "ethical committee" that will monitor, regulate and standardise the use of drugs in the hospital. It needs mention here that unofficial figures indicate that patients end up buying almost 80 per cent of the medication from outside the hospital. "Only cheap medications are supplied by the hospital, quality of which is not always dependable," says a former member of the hospital board.
There is also a need to improve security at the hospital, what with the number of anti-social elements cheating poor patients increasing by the day.
"Recently, a patient from Porbander lost his bag and belongings inside the X-ray room. Police constables on duty had to pool in money to buy him a return ticket," informs a staffer. Or worst, the case of indoor patient Narmada Dave who was asked to shell out Rs 300 two days ago in return for a service by a staffer of the superintendent's office. Finally, Dr Chaddha had to intervene to see that the money was returned.
"Not only are we working towards tightening security by possibly employing CISF, we are also looking to addressing the problem of staff shortage," says Dr Chaddha. An estimated 110 posts of class IV employees are vacant but have not been filled because of the employment restrictions of the state government.
News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]