New block at GTB hospital lying vacant for a year

Sidhartha Dutta

India, May 5 -- A year-and-a-half after its inauguration, the maternity and child health block (MCH) at the Delhi government-run Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital in east Delhi is lying vacant for the want of a gas pipeline.

Though the gynecology department found a way out and started functioning from the building after the inauguration, the child care centre is yet to start despite the state-of-art building being inaugurated way back in 2011.

The gynecology department's sixth and seventh floor began operations in October, 2011. The fifth floor, which is dedicated to mother care, later began operations on January 23, 2013. The rest of the floors of the seven-storey building have not been put to any use.

"The old building is often flooded with patients to the extent that sometimes two patients are forced to share one bed," a hospital source said.

Though 250 beds in the gynecology department have been moved to the new building, the operation theatres are still functioning in the old building.

"The government is delaying the installation of the oxygen pipeline in the new block. We kept asking them about the status of the project but they have been dilly-dallying," said Dr Rajpal, medical superintendent at GTB.

"Every bed needs to be attached with an oxygen port. For the gynecology department, we can make do with alternative cylinders but we cannot take the risk of using cylinders on children," he added.

According to hospital sources, the public works department (PWD) had prepared an estimate of Rs. 4,7891043 that was allegedly rejected by the health ministry this year.

According to sources, the PWD estimate was too high for the government to approve it. "The government said they would look for agencies to install the pipeline," Dr Rajpal added.

"The government had shortlisted five public sector units who had expertise in installation of gas pipelines. PWD had given an estimate but there was some problem in it," said Delhi health minister AK Walia.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.