Government health facilities are facing acute shortages of patient beds.According to statistics, there is just one bed available to 55 patients at the Ram Manohar lohia(RML) Hospital. In other words, availability of beds in super speciality hospitals is extremely low.
In a written reply Rajya Sabha, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Ashwini Kumar Choubey said that the primary responsibility to increase the bed-to-patient ratio lay with state or Union Territory government, as public health and hospitals were state subjects.
Other government hospitals in the city face a similar problem. The Delhi government had planned to double up the number of beds from 10,000 to 20,000 by December 2017, however, not much has been done in the direction.
“The situation is same in almost all the hospitals. Not only the beds, but the hospitals are also facing a shortage of doctors and other paramedical staff. It is high time that the government improves the overall healthcare system,” said Dr Vivek Chouksey, President, Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA).
RML, the largest hospital after the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), has a footfall of 7,000 to 8,000 patients daily in its Out Patient Department (OPD), and more than 1,000 patients in the emergency.
The total number of beds at RML is 1,447.
“54 patients occupied a single bed this year. This is not the total figure,” said Dr VK Tiwari, medical superintendent, RML Hospital.
Patients visiting the facility often complain, saying it causes inconvenience to them.”It is almost impossible to get a bed here. We have been waiting for more than a month, but the waiting line is still the same. Doctors say they will first treat the emergency patients and then move on to others,” a patient outside RML told DNA.
The RML data shared by the minister, on the bed-to-patient ratio in 2015 and 2016 was 1:52 and 1:54.5, respectively. The Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC) for the two years was 1:07 and 1:06, respectively; while in the Safdarjung Hospital, the ratio was 1:2 for both the years, state statistics reports DNA.