Upgrades at hospitals stalled by funds crunch
Vital repair projects at state-run medical colleges are held up by the finance dept despite receiving health dept approval
The cash-strapped state government’s reluctance to sanctions funds has stalled major civil and electrical renovation work in state-run medical colleges and hospitals, for last several months.
The funds crisis has plummeted, leaving vital medical electrical projects, from the renovation of a gynaecology operation theatre (OT) to opening an anti-retroviral treatment (ART) for HIV positive patients, have been delayed.
SSKM medical college and hospital, premier government institute for post-graduate medical education and researchin eastern India, is yet to get its ART. The repair work in different buildings, housing departments like urology, nephrology and cardiology has been stalled.
“Our ART unit is all set to start work for the treatment of HIV positive patients. The electrical wiring in the unit has been completed. But the simple work of setting up tube-lights in the unit has been held up. We need only Rs. 70,000 for this work. However, the finance department is yet to sanction the funds, which have already been approved by the health department at Swasthya Baban,” said a senior administrative officer of SSKM.
A few months ago, a section of the ceiling of the gynaecology OT had fallen on the table, posing serious threats to the patients at Medical College Hospital (MCH). In view of this incident, the hospital authorities woke up to renovate gynaecology OT.
“We sent an estimate of Rs. 75 lakh to the health department for repair work at the gyan ecology OT. The finance minister is sitting on the proposal even after the approval of the health department. Several other projects are awaiting the finance department’s green signal,” said Dr Asim Bose, former medical superintendent cum vice principal (MSCP) of MCH. Bose retired just a few days ago.
Another state-run college, Sagar Dutta Medical College Hospital at Kamarhati, in North 24 Parganas, is also facing similar setbacks in receiving funds required for the maintenance of elevators, setting up of a footbridge and internal roads inside the hospital complex.
“We have sent a proposal to the health department requesting funds for civil and electrical works. But the proposal has been awaiting the finance department’s approval for months,” said professor Debashis Bhattacharya, principal of Sagar Dutta Medical College Hospital.