Friday, December 28, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



GMCH-32 vying for ISO 9001 certificate
Still a long way to go to the top
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 27
The year 2001 was celebrated as the “Decennial Year” of the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, to commemorate its 10 years of existence. The Rs 225-crore prestigious GMCH, which is now vying for the prestigious ISO 9001 certificate, also remained the pet project of the UT Administrator who made it a point to refer it to as a major project of the Chandigarh Administration from every platform through the year.

Going by its year-end review, however, the GMCH still has a long way to go before its starts to match up with world class secondary hospitals and medical colleges as far as research, hosting conferences and provision of health facilities to its patients is concerned.

Firstly, the construction of the 500-bed hospital and Medical College was slated to be completed in 1999, but has been running behind schedule. This year was important in the sense that the construction of the hospital pending for the last two years restarted in March. Besides some technical difficulties, work had been stalled about two years ago, following an inquiry by the Central Vigilance Commission, after a part of the block under-construction had collapsed, killing one person. While construction of Block C resumed, the Chandigarh Administration also ordered fresh tenders to be invited for the construction of block ‘E’ and ‘F’ in February.

Another milestone was that early this year 8 students were selected for the first batch of postgraduate students of GMCH. Two each in four departments — anatomy, pathology, ophthalmology and anesthesia. In April, the hospital also asked for a go ahead from the Medical Council of India (MCI), to start PG courses in five more disciplines — Orthopaedics, ENT, Paediatrics, Gynaecology and Community Medicine.

The Rs 7.5-crore GMCH hostel was inaugurated in January by the Chandigarh Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd). Half of the nurses’ hostel which has 208 rooms, however, remains unoccupied. In November, the UT Administrator visited the hospital once again, this time to inaugurate the residential complex of GMCH employees.

Experts in different disciplines of medicines discussed various topics related to disability management on the second day of the WHO workshop “Orientation training of trainers in disability prevention and rehabilitation”, organised by the Orthopaedics Department of the GMCH in January. Disability management remained a major focus of the hospital all through the year with workshops, training programmes being organised by the hospital almost every month for city’s medical and paramedical staff. The hospital also organised disability and osteoporosis screening camps.

The hospital was the focus of all attention in January. Famed Punjabi pop singer Gurdas Mann was admitted here following a road accident.

The long wait for a CT scanner at GMCH continues as the year ends. In May, it was decided that a private party will be invited to install and operate a CT scan machine in the hospital. Tenders were invited and out of the eight companies which has applied, three were also shortlisted. But endless meetings later also nothing seems to have been decided and negotiations with the three parties also seem to have reached a dead end.

An adolescent health clinic was opened in May. The clinic is being jointly run by the Paediatrics, Psychiatry, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, General Medicine and Dermatology Departments.

In mid July, an incident which does not even happen any more in village hospitals brought an indelible blot on the GMCH name. A patient named Saroj Devi was operated upon at the throat instead of the ear by the GMCH ENT Department reportedly due to confusion resulting from the fact that a patient with the same name, age and sex had also been slated for an operation by the same department at around the same time of the day.

A day later, a formal inquiry into the matter was also marked. The enquiry indicted two staff nurses of the hospital, who were later suspended. The matter was taken up by the GMCH Employees Union who rallied and staged dharnas in the hospital forcing GMCH to revoke the suspension of the nurses.

The hospital complained of acute shortage of funds in August for purchasing essential equipment, and decided to press the UT Administration to revise the budget for the hospital. The UT Finance Department has sanctioned Rs 1.10 crore to the GMCH for the purchase and maintenance of equipment during this financial year, as against the requirement of Rs 3 crore which the hospital authorities have regularly been asking for.

In September the CBI raided the PGI and GMCH Super Bazar following complaints of omission and commission by the authorities here. There were complaints that medicines and surgical items were sold at much higher prices.

The GMCH continues to work hard for a blood society. The Department of Microbiology was recognised by the GOI as a voluntary blood testing and surveillance centre for HIV.

The matter of the non teaching employees of the hospital demanding vacations continued to brew with the GMCH recommending the same to the city Administration. The employees continue to wait the Administration’s decision on the matter.

The year ended with a surprise visit of the UT Administrator to the GMCH emergency, and unhappy with what he saw there, he asked the hospital authorities to ensure better facilities for the patients. 


Need to tighten PGI admn: Chandel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 27
“The image of the PGI as one of the premier institutes of the country has gone down in the recent past. There are matters which are of serious nature and need to be taken up at the central level”, said Mr Suresh Chandel, MP from Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh, here today.

Mr Chandel, member of the PGI Institute Body and of the Standing Selection Committee of the institute, said though the PGI had some of the best doctors in the country and world-class healthcare facilities, there was a need to improve its Administration. “It is indeed sad that cases like the death of a young woman within two hours of her arrival in the hospital allegedly due to negligence has happened here”, he said, referring to the death of Varinder Kaur, a 38-year-old housewife from Sector 27 who died in PGI emergency on December 10.

Mr Chandel was interacting with PGI employees today and listening to their grievances and problems while at the PGI where his wife is admitted. Later, while talking to mediapersons he also stated that there should be no confusion about the matter of the age of retirement of the PGI Director. “The PGI Act clearly states that it is 60 years and if there is any contention regarding this then there is a Supreme Court judgement to second it.”

Mr Chandel also said there was a tendency of the PGI Administration to favour the teaching employees and “get them every benefit at par with AIIMS but when it comes to the non-teaching employees, similar benefits are refused”.

Mr Chandel when informed by the PGI Employees Union leaders about the various audit objections which the CAG report had raised against the institution, he called for the complete reports of the CAG and has decided to study them in detail.

Mr Chandel was shocked to learn that the PGI emergency chemists were fleecing patients openly and no action had been taken by the PGI Administration on the matter. He assured that he would take up the matter at the level of the Health Ministry. “But how can anyone have a monopoly of selling medicines in the PGI? It's simply not fair”, he said.

Mr Chandel said he realised that there was a nexus of sorts working in the PGI in collaboration with people in the PGI Administration and it's needed to be cut at some point. “The CBI raid on the PGI bared a similar thing but more improvements are required. The administration really needs to be tightened up”, he said.


SPORTS round-up II
Improvement in infrastructure
Arvind Katyal

Chandigarh, December 27
The year saw renewed sports activity only towards the end, when events in tennis, golf and rowing in Chandigarh and shooting at SAS Nagar were held during the 31st National Games. The city had plenty of infrastructure, but the shooting range at SAS Nagar was not ready. The new range at Phase VI was completed in a record time of four months.

In shooting events, clay pigeon events (trap and skeet) were held. This clay pigeon range was first of its kind in the region. The indoor air weapons range was also added to this range.

The All India Gurmit Memorial Hockey Meet held at the Sector 18 Hockey Stadium disappointed players, who had for years longed for a synthetic turf. This year also they had to play on grass, though turf replacement at the Sector 42 Hockey Stadium had been planned many years back.

The Gymnastics Hall in Sector 7 and the Badminton Hall in Sector 42 did not go through much renovation. The absence of adequate badminton courts forced organisers to hold the Samuel Banerjee Memorial North Zone Badminton Meet at the Panjab University Indoor Hall, which was a big success. When the UT State Badminton Meet was held at the Sector 42 Indoor Hall, three players suffered injuries due to uneven surface on one of the courts.

Football got a boost when young trainees joined for the second consecutive year at the Chandigarh Football Academy. The UT Administration failed to honour its sportspersons who had brought laurels in national and international sports meets.


Rowing body awards Gurmeet
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, December 27
Rower Gurpreet Kaur, who turned 18 today presented a cheque for Rs 10,000 by senior officials of the Chandigarh Rowing Association, led by its president, Mr T.C. Gupta, in recognition of her achievements this year.

Gurpreet had won the senior title in the single scull event of the National Games past month. A junior rower, she had overpowered defending champion Jincy Mol Verghese of Kerala.

Gurpreet had taken to rowing in 1999 and before that she was a regular swimmer. Her mother, said since she could do swimming for only seven months they had decided to try her luck in rowing also. She had won bronze medal at the 6th Junior Asian Rowing Meet in Chandigarh in 2000.

Early this year she had gone to Germany for training. After that, she had won silver medal at the 7th Junior Asian Rowing Meet in China.

Mr Gupta said the Rowing Federation of India had arranged a special camp for her in Chandigarh and a coach from Pune would impart six-week rigorous coaching to her. He added that Gurpreet would take part in the All India Inter Varsity Rowing Meet in Pune from January 15 to 20. She would also take part in the Senior National Rowing Championships in Chennai from February 20 to 23.

Mr Gupta said the association was trying to get her more recognition by way of awards and it would take up the case with the UT authorities. He said another plan was to tie up with a corporate group to sponsor her on permanent basis.


MCA XI beat DC Model School
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, December 27
Mohali Cricket Association XI outplayed DC Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 7, Panchkula, by 23 runs in the second Satluj league cricket tournament for under-16 played here today at Satluj Public School, Sector 4, Panchkula.

Brief scores: MCA XI — 159 in 29.2 overs (Yadvinder Singh 63, Irshad Ali 34, Dinesh Kumar 3 for 21, Harsh 3 for 27); DCMSSS — 136 all out (Gurpreet Singh 31, Vikas 27, A. Pandit 2 for 16, Sumit Ohri 2 for 19, Mandeep Singh 3 for 19).

School function

Unique Public School, Sector 32, held its annual sports day function today. It began with dumbell display by students of primary classes.

Playway students participated in banana race and tricycle race. Lemon race of nursery students and sack race of LKG students were amusing. The function ended with prize and medal distribution ceremony.

Cricket tourney

St John’s High School, Sector 26, and Hansraj Public School, Sector 6, Panchkula, outclassed St Joseph’s School, Sector 44, and YPS, SAS Nagar, by 24 runs and nine wickets, respectively, in the second St John’s challenger cricket trophy-2001. In the under-12 section, St John’s and YPS defeated Edmund Rice and St Kabir School, Sector 26, by eight wickets and five wickets, respectively.


33.32 lakh for development works
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 27
The second installment of Rs 33.32 lakh was released for development works in Raipur Rani, Pinjore and Morni blocks of the district as per the announcements made under the “Sarkar aapke dwar” programme.

Stating this, here today, the Additional Deputy Commissioner-cum-DDPO, Mr Rajesh Jogpal, said a sum of Rs 33.5 lakh had been released in the first installment for development works in these blocks.

He said out of the money released in the second installment, Rs 15.94 lakh would be released for Raipur Rani block, Rs 53,000 each would be spent in villages of Gobindpur, Hangoli, Samlehri, Pyarewala, Jaspur, Hangola, Ferozepore, Bhagwali, Haripur, Bhahelpur, Natwal, Sarakpur and Kakrali for construction of school rooms and boundary walls. 

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