RGGGH emergency ward running out of beds; patients suffer

As work load of the doctors and healthcare officials is increased with patients being referred from other districts and States too, patients struggle to find a bed in the emergency medical ward and many of them are supervised outside the ward in a wheelchair or attendant's seats.
Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital
Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital

CHENNAI: While the government hospitals usually remain crowded with patients from all over the city, the trauma and emergency medical ward at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital is seeing an increase in the number of patients.

As work load of the doctors and healthcare officials is increased with patients being referred from other districts and States too, patients struggle to find a bed in the emergency medical ward and many of them are supervised outside the ward in a wheelchair or attendant's seats.

Being the central authority for specialised treatments, it is inevitable for the hospital to receive more patients when compared to other government hospitals, but the infrastructure developments need to be done at the hospital to cater to the needs of the patients accordingly.

"My child gets seizures and after a recent seizure, he says he cannot see. We rushed him to GH but it took about 15-20 mins for doctors to respond and then even after an hour, doctors could not give us a bed in the ward so they asked him to rest in the adjacent room before they shifted him to any particular department ward," said an attendant.

Another child being treated for a fall was moved from the casualty to the medical emergency ward, but due to lack of beds in the ward, the doctors did further examination outside the ward as he was seated on the chair the watchman offered kindly. Another road traffic patient was made to lie down on the bed placed outside the ward as the ward remained full with few very critical patients.

Sharing his plight, one of the general medicine doctors said that it takes about 45-60 minutes after a patient is brought in to shift him to the speciality ward based on their physical health condition and monitoring required. Usually, during peak hours, the ward is full with patients and we have to shift them after completing the documentation post triage.

However, the hospital authorities say that there is no particular reason for the spike in the cases and the road traffic cases also make a large percentage of emergency cases, that need to be triaged and stabilised before being shifted to the wards.

"We are not seeing any particular reason behind the surge in the patients. The patients are brought to Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital from all over the city. Last minute referrals from private hospitals, road traffic accident cases and the patients referred to from other districts and States also account for the heavy patient load at the hospital, " said Dr E Theranirajan, dean of Madras Medical College and Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital.

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