Emergency ward continues to grapple with staff crunch, inadequate infrastructure at Ludhiana Civil Hospital : The Tribune India

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Emergency ward continues to grapple with staff crunch, inadequate infrastructure at Ludhiana Civil Hospital

Recently, a patient was forced to lie next to body at Civil Hospital

Emergency ward continues to grapple with staff crunch, inadequate infrastructure at Ludhiana Civil Hospital

Emergency ward of Ludhiana Civil Hospital. Tribune photo



Tribune News Service

Manav Mander

Ludhiana, April 16

In August 2023, the emergency ward of the civil hospital was in the news for mismanagement after a person died after falling off the stretcher. Now, again the ward is in the news yet again for its mismanagement and being ill-equipped. The recent incident where a patient shared bed with a corpse reveal that nothing seems to have changed in the hospital in the span of seven months.

Overview of emergency ward functioning

January

  • Cases reported in emergency: 4,344
  • Road accident cases: 129
  • MLR: 129
  • Unknown patients: 21
  • Admission: 1,405

February

  • Cases reported in emergency: 4,722
  • Road accident cases: 163
  • MLR: 1,052
  • Unknown patients: 20
  • Admission: 1,352

March

  • Cases reported in emergency: 5,428
  • Road accident cases: 193
  • MLR: 1,334
  • Unknown patients: 24
  • Admission: 1,472

Reviewing the present situation of the emergency ward, it came forward that it has failed to learn any lessons from the past. The situation still remains the same and patients continue to suffer due to shortage of staff and ill-equipped infrastructure.

There are fifteen posts of Emergency Medical Officer (EMO), of which only six are filled. From these six posts, three are permanent while three are on deputation.

The emergency ward has three shifts every day and three staff nurses, two Class IV employees and two safai sewaks are required for each shift but contrary to this, the ward has only two nurses, one Class IV employee and one safai Sewak in each shift.

For the hospital that caters to the entire district, there are only seven beds in the emergency ward and four minor OT tables are used as beds when in need and due to the rush of the patients, one bed is often shared by two people.

This year, 4,344 cases in January, 4,722 in February and 5,428 in March were reported in the emergency ward of the hospital. These cases tend to double during summer months as water-borne and vector- borne diseases spread during this time of the year.

Senior Medical Officer of civil hospital Mandeep Sidhu said they had written to the higher authorities about staff shortage and requirement of infrastructure but nothing had been done so far. “We are trying to utilise the given infrastructure in the best possible way and impart services to the people,” she said.

Going back to last year when a patient died after falling off the stretcher, the matter came into the notice of the Principal Secretary after which an inquiry was marked and the Health Secretary and Health Minister visited the hospital and took stock of the situation but things continued to remain the same till today.

In the above case, three employees of the hospital, including two staff nurses and one Class IV employee, were suspended and serious lapses in performing their duty were found against six employees in the inquiry report submitted by the then Deputy Commissioner Surabhi Malik.

Health Minister Balbir Singh during his visit to the hospital had said the ICU facility would be started within a month so that no patient was referred from the hospital and other issues such as shortage of medicines and staff would also be taken care of but all these remained only hollow promises and the hospital continues to work amid staff crunch.

Team of docs probes bed sharing incident

A team of three doctors, headed by Deputy Director, Health, Dr Nidhi, on Tuesday visited the civil hospital to probe into the matter of a patient sharing bed with a corpse at the emergency ward of the hospital. Dr Nidhi reached the hospital around 3 pm and carried an inquiry about the case for nearly two hours. She met Senior Medical Officer (SMO), doctors, emergency medical officers, nursing staff and paramedic staff.

The Deputy Director inquired about the incident from the SMO, Dr Mandeep Sidhu, to which she said the patient shared bed with the corpse only for 30 minutes and not two hours and during these 30 minutes, they completed all formalities required for shifting the body to a mortuary. Paramedic staff were also questioned regarding the working of the emergency ward and staff of the hospital also put forward their problems related to staff crunch.

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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