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City of Shame - No hospital beds, ventilator for poisoned kids

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Public Health

Have you heard!, Bangalore doesn't have ventilators for poisoned children. This is the news in Deccan Herald. It is not enough that a stone hearted mother decided to poison her 2 children and herself, hospitals, government and private could not provide the needed timely help. All had one thing to say. No ventilators in Namma Bengaluru . Another feather of SHAME in its crown. You can imagine the fate of rural children and the adults.

Here is what Deccan Herald reported

"....But on reaching Vani Vilas, the family were shocked to see that the pediatric ward was crowded.

“Each bed had three children on them. There was no space, and the staff and doctors were very rude. The doctors refused to even look at the children and asked us to go somewhere else,” says Aliya. By then, even the ambulance had left, leaving them with no choice but to scrounge for an auto late in the night with the three children.

The next stop was Mahaveer Jain Hospital, where the medical staff administered IV fluids, but said they did not have beds. KIMS hospital too claimed they did not have beds or a ventilator. In fact, when members of the Child Rights Commission tried to trace them the next day, KIMS dismissed them saying, “We do not know anything about the children. May be they died on the way.” The family then took the children to M S Ramaiah Hospital. Here too, the staff refused to admit them saying they had no ventilators or beds, but made calls to other hospitals. Finally, they were asked to go to Panacea Hospital in Basaveshwarnagar.

By then, it was 1.30 am and the hospital admitted two children, but could not admit Syed as they did not have a ventilator and his condition had worsened. Syed was refused admission at Ambedkar Hospital too for the same reasons.Some more phone calls later, BGS Hospital in Uttarahalli said they had a ventilator and finally Syed was admitted at 3.40 am. ..."

For more read here

What a shame? The city which keeps world's back offices alive 24/7, fails to provide basic emergency health services to its children. The state is no different for adults. Govt and ministries has time, money and resources for samaveshas but doesn't have time to spare for improving and augmenting the crippling health services. What is more concerning is even PRIVATE sector has not been able to scale up the capacity building. How do we fix this? Who should fix this?


idontspam's picture

I have made my case earlier

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I have made my case earlier that it is important to have a regulator who can ask private players to provide emergency services on priority to all citizens. The regulator needs technology, without this it is going to be difficult to keep tabs on the hospitals. Electronic medical/health records is considered a luxury in our country. So the poor end up taking medications they have adverse reaction to every time they go to a different hospital & clinic. What do we have computers for if it isnt helping the quality of life? Even the private hospitals (who I shall not name) admission desk I visited this morning didnt know which ward was empty since the nurse hadnt updated the system in her own hospital.

Value system is where we need to work in parellel. The value of life needs to have a meaning to the people. Maybe surfeit of people and suffering has made us numb but we cant let this be. Shouldnt it have been easier for any hospital looking for a ventilator to be able to figure out which hospital had it and was willing to take the patient?

kbsyed61's picture

High time for re-haul of state's health services!

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I sincerely hope tragic incidents of this nature would make the powers to be to woke up from slumbers. Health services sector needs urgent attention and needs a re-haul.

  1. It needs a comprehensive evaluation of what exists today (both in govt sector & private sector), what is needed and how the gap can be bridged.
  2. Bring in a all inclusive health policy that is oriented towards providing health services to every resident of Karnataka state - Both paid and subsidized.
  3. Consolidate government resources and identify the areas they can cater to?
  4. Institute the health services regulator that monitors health services and institutions
  5. Open up the sector for Private or PPP ventures to fill in the gaps.



silkboard's picture

something is in the works already, called KHSDRP

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Something called Karnataka Health System Development and Reform (KHSDRP for acronym) is already in the works. ITs been on since Dec 2006.

Stated objective is to "the aim of providing better public health care services in the remote and underserved areas of the State, so that the deprived and vulnerable groups can access quality health care." As usual, the vulnerable groups living in urban areas get missed out in such projects.

I keep seeing tenders now and then in the papers, but not much reporting, not much tracking in newspapers etc.

Doesn't look like the project has much money:

The cost of the project is Rs.897.79 Crores, of which, the Government of Karnataka’s share is Rs.281.11 Crores, and the remaining Rs.616.68 Crores is given as a loan by IDA, World Bank.

Compare that with Rs 1000 crore for multi level parking lots :) I am sure the project cost would have changed by now, but the website has not.

The point is, almost anything we discuss, is on in some shape of project or other. Just that we don't know and track them. And as we know, untracked and unpublicized projects usually mean welfare for certain government departments :)

Naveen's picture

Vintage Health care - needs change

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The age-old system with Primary Health Centres that is doling out free health services needs overhauling since it is worse than the PDS system with corruption & total misuse of supplies. They collect a mere Rs.10/- for regn in govt hospitals, like Victoria or Vanivilas & promise free treatment, but the hospitals are so full of people that emergencies such as the above get neglected. In rural areas, there is no system of regn & hence no fee of any kind ! What can one expect when health services are made totally free ?

What is required is a complete health reform with a nominal annual payment for health insurance /enrollment, say Rs.100/- or Rs.150/-, the rest being subsidised. At least, this would take care of costs for managing the system & meeting it's operating expenses. They also become answerable & the chances to make them accountable are better. BPL families must be encouraged to buy such health cover.

The problem is that these are vote banks & the opposition parties will raise objections.

kbsyed61's picture

India needs to add 1 lakh hospital beds for 30 years: study

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Courtsey - Deccan Herald

India is behind a number of countries in terms of number of hospital beds and doctors per thousand population despite having a higher total number of hospital beds as compared to other countries,a new study says. The study is sponsored by Federation of Indian Chambers of Industry and Commerce with leading hospital planning and management consultancy firm,

Naveen's picture

Healthcare "Investment" from where ?

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The last sentence of the writeup in DH is reproduced below :

If investments are not directed to make healthcare available, affordable and accessible to all, the increased consumption of healthcare would enhance the inequalities in India and eventually slow down growth, it said.

Where is this investment going to come from ? Everybody leaves it blank & assumes that it is govt's responsibility & they shd dole out more free healthcare. The govt is also being coerced & forced to believe that it is their obligation to do so for fear of backlashes from opposition parties as also the citizens, media, & now the supreme court, which has directed govt to distribute food grains for free to the poor instead of directing them to find ways to prevent wheat from rotting in godowns. At least, the PM, being an economist has opposed such senseless large scale subsidy.

kbsyed61's picture

Capacity Building

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I can't agree more with you in respect to funds needed for capacity building. One factor that has been overwhelmingly evident is India has to scaleup capacity building in each and every sector of governance be it helath care or education ortransportation or civic maintenance. For all these as you said needs huge funds allocation and certainly government can not  provide that. But certainly can facilitate for private participation with transparency and without red tape.

abidpqa's picture

Good example

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Assam has new healthcare bill which was passed in April 2010, which

"made it mandatory for all government and private hospitals and health centres, including nursing homes, to provide free health care services to a patient seeking emergency treatment." link comment guidelines

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