Critical care at SGPGIMS: Lack of beds, VVIP culture hitting dept functioning
Patients without VVIP status struggle to get admitted to the critical care medicine unit of SGPGIMS, with most beds reserved for VVIPs and the admission process lacking transparency. There are only 20 CCM beds in a hospital of 1,600 beds, causing many patients to be refused admission. The hospital director suggests increasing CCM beds in other hospitals to alleviate the load. There is a proposal to increase the number of beds in the CCM at SGPGIMS. Attendees in the waiting list express frustration with the lack of transparency in the admission process.
If you are not a VVIP then you cannot be admitted to the critical care medicine (CCM) unit of the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS). That is the general perception about the department of the premier research institution of the city. However, the scarcity is not without reason: there are only 20 CCM beds in a hospital of 1,600 beds.
Most times, getting a patient admitted in critical care is a daunting task as most beds remain reserved for VVIPs. Also, the process of getting admission lacks transparency and depends on the whims and fancies of the head of department (HoD) and doctors of the institute.
Surendra Swaroop, a resident of Charbagh, says that he approached the department for admission of his father to CCM. He was told to register the name on the waiting list. Despite running from pillar to post for 21 days, he was not able to get his father admitted.
He said, “My father was denied admission because he was not a VVIP. I was watching others who had good connections get admitted. Eventually, my father expired at a private nursing home.”
For many years there have been talks of increasing the beds in CCM but nothing has been done.
On average, if a patient is admitted then five to six are refused admission per day, admitted doctors of the department.
Insiders of the department said that for a good hospital, the CCM must house around 20% of its capacity. “Going by this figure, SGPGIMS must have around 320 CCM beds but we have only 20 beds for critically ill patients, which is just around 0.8 %,” an insider said.
Radha Krishna Dhiman, director, PGI said, “There is an excess load of patients on PGI, on just 20 CCM beds everyone cannot be admitted. The remedy is to increase CCM beds in other hospitals of the state, including medical colleges of the state, other major medical centres, or other hospitals of state. Only selected patients should come to PGI who really need to be treated in a super-specialty hospital like PGI.”
He said that there is a proposal to increase the number of beds in the CCM and the process to increase 12 more beds in CCM was on.
A doctor of the CCM department said, “We do our best to admit young patients, or whose lives can be saved, or who respond to the treatment. We don’t consider who is a VIP or common man.”
However, attendants of patients queued up in the waiting list don’t agree to that. The attendant of a patient said, “I have been coming here for the admission of my relative for the last three days, but I am told to wait every time. Because of the lack of transparency, I don’t know whether they will admit my patient or not.”