Departments overworked, short-staffed, clinical lab services ailing at PGI : The Tribune India

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Departments overworked, short-staffed, clinical lab services ailing at PGI

Most facilities in dire need for additional laboratory workers

Departments overworked, short-staffed, clinical lab services ailing at PGI

Most PGI departments are grappling with increased patient load. - File photo



Tribune News Service

Naina Mishra

Chandigarh, June 4

The Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI) is grappling with a shortage of laboratory attendants and nursing staff as its clinical laboratory services continue to expand rapidly. The increasing patient load resulting from the expansion and creation of new clinical care facilities has created a dire need for additional support staff at various departments.

The Department of Endocrinology, in particular, has witnessed a tenfold increase in the number of investigations conducted. From a monthly average of 1,850 investigations earlier, the department currently handles more than 25,000 investigations per month, translating to approximately 1,400 tests or over 400 patient reports per working day.

Interestingly, there is only one laboratory attendant in this department, necessitating an urgent requirement for two more workers to meet the growing workload.

Similarly, the Department of Medical Parasitology has experienced a substantial increase in workload over the past few years. The diagnostic tests conducted by the department have almost doubled, with over 8,000 culture tests being performed in 2022, compared to 4,600 tests in 2021.

To cope with the increased workload, the department urgently requires two additional laboratory attendants or hospital attendants.

The Neurology Department, responsible for running several specialised laboratories, is also facing similar challenges.

With four electroencephalography (EEG) laboratories, one electromyography/ nerve conduction stimulus (EMG/NCS) lab, and a Doppler laboratory, the department caters to an average of 20 patients per day in the EEG and EMG/NCS labs, with the Doppler lab handling at least 20 patients per week.

The department currently doesn’t have a single laboratory attendant. To address this critical gap, the Neurology Department is requesting a total of four laboratory attendants, with two designated for the EEG and EMG labs, which can also provide support to the Doppler laboratory.

Further, the Advanced Paediatric Centre is struggling to manage the additional burden of patients. Since October 2020, the centre has been operating a haemodialysis facility, significantly improving the care for paediatric patients with kidney failure.

However, the facility currently runs with only two machines for 12 hours a day. Considering the challenges of transporting intubated, sick, and artificially ventilated paediatric patients to the main dialysis centre located in Nehru Hospital during night, there is an urgent need to enhance the paediatric centre’s services to operate 24/7. This will require additional dialysis machines and four laboratory attendants to manage the machines and their accessories.

Request raised for 17 lab attendants

To meet the shortfall, the PGI had requested 17 laboratory attendants in the standing finance committee meeting held in April this year. However, the agenda could not be discussed and will now be placed in the next meeting for approval

Not enough dialysis machines

Haemodialysis facility at PGI’s Advanced Paediatric Centre has only two machines that run for 12 hours a day. With challenges in shifting intubated, sick paediatric patients to main dialysis centre at Nehru Hospital at night, there is an urgent need to run the facility 24x7. This means additional dialysis machines and four laboratory attendants

Manifold increase in No. of investigations

  • Department of Endocrinology has witnessed a tenfold increase in number of investigations conducted in the recent past
  • From 1,850 tests earlier, it is running 25,000 now, at an average of 1,400 tests or over 400 patient reports per working day
  • There is only one lab attendant in dept & there is urgent requirement for two more workers to meet growing workload
  • In Dept of Medical Parasitology, number of tests has doubled, with 8,000 being run in 2022 against 4,600 in 2021; it needs 2 more lab attendants
  • Dept of Neurology has four EEG labs, an EMG/NCS lab, and a Doppler lab, but lacks a lab attendant; it needs 4 attendants

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.


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