City in need of a general hospital

The project to set up a general hospital on the 62-acre campus of Government Chest Hospital, Erragadda is gathering dust since 2008.

The hospital, proposed by former Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, was envisaged to address the medical needs of poor families from areas like Kukatpally, Miyapur, Gachibowli, Shamshabad, Rajendranagar, Pattancheru and beyond.

There are no affordable options for medical care for families here who are mostly employed in the back-end operations in malls, software companies, multiplexes, hotels and construction sites in the new growth corridor. Sick persons from those regions of the capital have to come to Gandhi, Osmania General Hospitals and Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) during medical emergencies.

The combined capacity of OGH, Gandhi and NIMS is close to 3,300 beds and these hospitals attract a lot of patients from nearby districts and outskirts.

“The problem for me is to travel all the way to Gandhi Hospital, Musheerabad every month for my pregnant wife’s check-up. I can’t even opt for a bus because of my wife’s condition. So we have to engage an auto,” says Sambaiah, a watchman working in an apartment at Miyapur.

The government had planned to construct a 740-bedded general hospital with an expenditure of Rs.180 crore on the campus of Chest Hospital at Erragadda.

According to hospital officials, the survey work and other plans regarding construction of the general hospital were complete before the project came to a halt.

“Such a hospital will go a long way in providing medical facilities to patients from outskirts. Road accident and emergency cases, which are usually taken to OGH, Gandhi and NIMS, can be treated here. This will save time and patients,” points out a senior doctor at Chest Hospital, K. Subhakar.

Hospital officials who have been following the progress, or the lack of it, are astounded at the absolute lack of commitment from the government’s side in the last few years even when the current infrastructure is crumbling. Several of them also argue that even if a single acre of the sprawling campus is put for sale, sufficient funds can be generated for the new buildings.

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