Dr.Avnish Jolly , Chandigarh, April 10 : Setting new standard in health care, the Chandigarh Administration’s new initiative on emergency cases has been a good success, though on an experimental basis, at the Government Multi specialty Hospital (General Hospital) in Sector 16 under which critical patients brought to the emergency, are provided with free treatment for the first 24 hours of admission. On an average, between 80 and 100 patients are brought to the emergency in the hospital every day.
The scheme covers the cost of treatment, medicines, ECG and X-rays in accidental and medico-legal cases. The hospital authorities had stocked medicines, surgical items and catheters worth Rs 10 lakh before launching the scheme. Now, spadework is being done to widen the ambit of the scheme, possibly from June 1, to include routine investigations relevant to the critical ailment warranting a patient’s admission to the emergency, and first X-ray.
Explaining the rationale behind the scheme, Dr M. S. Bains, Director, Health Services, UT, Chandigarh, said, "In such cases, first 24 hours are crucial for the life of a patient. Our prime motive behind this plan is to save precious lives by doing all that we can do for the patient and spare the attendants the bother of arranging funds and things in the immediate.” Helpers are available round the clock at the emergency in the hospital to bring a patient on a stretcher or on a wheelchair.
He disclosed that the much awaited new OPD block is expected to be ready for use by December 31, 2009. “It will house all OPDs, which are now scattered all over the hospital complex, in one building, making things easy for the patients and their attendants”, Dr Bains said. The new block which was initially estimated to cost Rs 8.5 crore, would on completion, involve an expenditure of Rs 11 crore.
What’s more, the Chandigarh Administration has installed a digital X-ray machine at the cost of Rs 60 lakh at the Government Multispeciality Hospital in Sector 16. It would be handy for the doctors and facilitate the patients to a great extent. “It provides good and clearer picture of the affected part from different angles in no time, enabling the doctor to diagnose things faster and better. Once it is done, there is no need to go anywhere else. It also need not be repeated for any technical reasons thereby minimizing the exposure to the patient as well as saving on the films,” said Dr Bains.
Coming to the rescue of poor patients, the Administration has taken steps to make available medicines at cheap rates in the hospital. “While 35 per cent rebate is allowed on all generic medicines bought by patients on hospital complex, all trademark medicines cost 10 per cent less”, Dr Bains said.
A proposal has also been initiated to upgrade the Industrial Area Dispensary into a Primary Health Centre and funds have been released for the purpose. Besides, expansion of the Civil Hospital at Manimajra to 100-bed capacity has been approved and work on the project will commence this year. The expanded health centre would cater to the needs of the poor and labourers residing in the surrounding areas, Dr Bains added.