Civil Hospital lacks ventilators, docs to treat swine flu patients

BATHINDA: The Bhai Mani Singh Civil Hospital authorities claim that are fully prepared to deal with the dreaded swine flu virus, but the current state of affairs at the hospital tells a different story.

editorial@tribune.com

Ravi Chandel

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 4

The Bhai Mani Singh Civil Hospital authorities claim that are fully prepared to deal with the dreaded swine flu virus, but the current state of affairs at the hospital tells a different story.

Though the possibility of swine flu outbreak reduces in winter, it has been observed that such cases are still being reported from the state. According to the authorities, the hospital has a six-bedded isolation ward with two private rooms and medicines for patients suffering from swine flu.

However, on visiting the isolation ward, it came to light that the Civil Hospital lacks specialist doctors and key facilities, including ventilator.

A hospital employee, who did not wish to be quoted, said, “I have been working here for the past 15 years. The State Health Department had given us small ventilator machines, but these have been lying defunct for the past many years.”

Despite an isolation ward and medicines, patients suffering from swine flu are referred to Government Medical College in Faridkot for further treatment in the absence of ventilator. Besides, the hospital is facing a shortage of specialist doctors, including anaesthetist and MD (medicine).

Dr Ravinder Singh, district epidemiologist, said, “Till now, only one case of swine flu has been reported. The patient was admitted to some private hospital and from there, he was referred to the medical college in Faridkot.”

He said they were organising various seminars in the district to make people aware of swine flu symptoms and its prevention. Senior Medical Officer (SMO) Sukhjinder Singh Gill admitted that the hospital did not have ventilator machines. He said they were fully equipped to treat the patients who are in the early stage.

The SMO said though there was a shortage of specialist doctors at the swine flu ward, there was no need to worry as they were prepared to handle any kind of emergency.

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