Finally, Dilapidated Lady Hardinge Medical College to get Makeover
New Delhi: After a long wait of 7 years, the well-known Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC) and hospitals associated with the institute are going to get their makeover done. The Comprehensive Redevelopment Plan (CRP) of the hospital which had been stalled since three years has been restarted on Union Health Ministry’s orders.
As per the plan, which had been approved in 2007, the hospital was subjected to get a new Out- Patient Department (OPD) block, an In-Patient Department (IPD) with 350 beds, a trauma centre and a hostel for students.
The construction for the same was started in March 2012 at a cost of Rs 586 crore. By 2014, it should have been completed, however, citing the lack of funds, the private contractor left the project. Later, the government terminated the contract in 2015. This unfortunately left the hospital in dilapidation. The incomplete structure had become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Many cranes and other equipment were lying idle, rusting on the constructed site.
Lady Hardinge Medical College also runs Sucheta Kriplani and Kalawati Saran hospitals which see a footfall of nearly 2,000 patients daily. While the former hospital continues to run from a tarnished 102-year-old building because of delay in construction of a new one, the latter suffers a severe space crunch. Not only this, iron girders supporting the arch-style building of Sucheta hospital, are rusted.
Aggravated with the aforesaid issues, around two thousand resident doctors and students of Lady Hardinge Medical College observed a hunger strike on 31st July, saying they will end it only when the authorities give a timeline for completion of the construction project. All the OPDs were shut down and no new patients were given admission during the strike. A day later the strike, the Union Health Ministry had agreed to meet their demands. It had given a written assurance of resolving the issue of stalled CRP within a period of four months.
While justifying their decision to start the strike which is affecting patient services, Dr Vivek Chouksey, President of LHMC Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) had affirmed that they had written multiple letters to the concerned authorities regarding the stalled CRP. Now, when the CPWD inspection Report stated that the infrastructure of the hospital is not safe, the RDA decided to make their voices heard by observing a strike.
Later, after agreeing to revamp the tarnished premises of the Medical College and the hospitals associated with it, the Union Health Ministry had sent a revised cost to the expenditure committee for the execution of the Comprehensive Redevelopment Plan.
Now, this redevelopment plan has finally been restarted.
DNA reports that once the Rs 882 crore project is completed, the hospital would have four buildings, including a super speciality block, an academic block and a trauma centre.
In the first stage of the redevelopment plan, an academic block and oncology block will be built. All the departments will function in new buildings. As per media reports, the project will be completed by September next year.
Looking at the fruit that their uphill struggles have finally borne, Dr Chouksey, congratulating his fellow doctors, who joined the protests; shared on his social media account, “RDA LHMC took charge of this herculean task and efficient abutment needed was provided by indomitable will and courage of Students of LHMC lead by SU representative. Over the years, agitation ranging from marching on streets of Delhi to sitting on a hunger strike by resident doctors and students from LHMC a lot of hardship was faced to get the work resumed. Persistent exhortation by the leaders was taken very positively by the students and doctors, which lead to intensified agitation including waving black flags to Union Health Minister.”