A REPORT ON CONDITIONS OF HOSPITALS AT KAMPLI, SURUPURA AND GANGAVATHI
Focussing on North Karnataka region where a large number of cataract cases go unattended, SRI VIVEKANANDA SEVASHRAMA EYE HOSPITAL has conducted many cataract surgery camps in such varied places such as Kampli, Kushtagi, Hanama sagara, Raichur, Lingasugur etc. These camps have drawn large number of cataract afflicted persons, mostly aged and infirm from poorer sections of under privileged society. Mostly government hospitals in those towns are utilised for these camps, for, they offer large spaces needed for large number of patients who throng our camps Surgeries using modern optical microscopes by very competent and qualified surgeons, the patients get the best treatment no less than what is available in a high tech facility in urban centres.
Having conducted many surgery camps in government hospitals, we have observed a few shortcomings in them that has, no doubt prevented us from delivering more number of cataract surgeries that would have benefitted the needy. We wish to kindly bring to your attention so that they can be looked into and needed corrective steps taken
Sri Vivekananda Sevashrama conducted a two day cataract surgery camp at Surapura, Yadgir district on 27th and 28th Feb 2015. Massive crowds numbering many hundreds thronged the hospital, an indication of how much the needy are ill served in this region. Sevashrama with its own limitations had to settle down to an achievable figure of 400 patients and send back the rest to their disappointment.
The Surupura hospital building built perhaps with funding from a foreign foundation/agency is well constructed, and airy. Located above ground , on asmall rocky hillock the hospital is unfriendly to the aged, infirm and sick. It was a pathetic sight to see the old and many infirm who could barely drag themselves the steep gradient on an unpaved, rutted road . Hygienic condition surrounding the building leaves much to be desired with garbage strewn around and pigs foraging in the smelly mess. Inside too with many corridors with litter strewn around, abundance of mosquitoes were ready to swoop on humans to have a feast of human blood. This is surely not expected of a hospital , ideally to be a model for aseptic and hygienic conditions in all respects
While on the subject of hygiene, it may be worth while to mention another camp at Government hospital at KAMPLI Ballari Dist in which a camp was held 30/31st Jan 2015. Similarly well constructed, the hospital , lacks basic upkeep of cleanliness, and clean toilets. The staff expressed their helplessness even with availability of simple items like brooms, mops, and waste bins. Sevashrama had to procure these items from market to keep the hospital tidy. The public toilet was dirty to the extent that it was unusable. None among the cleaning staff showed any interest to clean the toilets
More issues of Surupura affecting our work.
As stated earlier the crowd was large what with many family members accompanying the patients. With no access to hospital toilets, the people, men and women and children were using the surroundings of the hospital to defecate. This is surely unacceptable and goes surely in the face of “Swatcha Bharath Abhiyan “campaign initiated by the government of India
Next critical problem we faced was breakdown of the two air conditioners which are vital equipments for any OT. It was found that air filters were choked and gas that cools the air was insufficient. Surely this is a case of lack of preventive maintenance This simultaneous breakdown of both air conditioners lasting more than 3 hours greatly upset our target by about 50 surgeries.
Compounding the first day’s problem, on day 2, the backup generator of the hospital , developed surge voltage that burnt many cables feeding vital equipments like voltage stabiliser, battery charger and many bulbs. Most importantly, bulbs fitted inside all the four optical microscopes fused, grinding to a complete halt all our activities including the surgical operations. Breakdown lasting more than two hours. surgery could be resumed by switching on the Sevashrama generator. Fortunately the fused microscope bulbs were replaced from our own stock. These setbacks greatly reduced the number of surgeries which would have benefitted the needy.
A camp was held at Gangavathi on 13th &14th Mar 2015. This camp also drew large crowds . 337 persons, indeed a large figure, got the benefit of surgery. Like Surupura, this hospital too is built with funding from Germany. But the upkeep and hygienic conditions are appalling to say the least. Dirty floors, stinking toilets overflowing with urine, unlit corridors, peeling roof plaster, junks strewn every where and many more are such features of this place also- clearly a nightmare for Sevashrama volunteers who are to do many chores in and outside in such inhospitable conditions. Basic illumination in the corridors were lacking and light bulbs and even fans were procured from market to bring a semblance to the work place. From the hospital administration there seems to be no one to attend to the problems. It is indeed a wonder that despite the several bottlenecks Sevashrama could fulfil on the its mission of service
Finally discipline and cooperation among nursing and other staff leaves much to be desired The same can be said of Kampli where nursing staff were seen to be turning up almost at midday.
Drive, motivation and a spirit of co operation by the concerned authorities in these hospitals would surely enhance our capability to deliver more to the needy and deprived of the society.
Sevashrama held a two day free cataract camp at Devdurga, Raichur District on 27/28th Mar 2015. 247 surgeries were conducted. The conditions in this hospital are abysmal to say the least. Unresponsive and uncooperative medical and nursing staff, as if we were unwelcome guests. Appalling condition of toilets. There was none to even to sweep the floor to an extent that Sevashrama volunteers had to pick up the broom to sweep the area. In the three wards where cataract surgery patients were resting there were no toilets for them. Patients had to take recourse to out doors for their nature call. This is totally inadmissible, a sure invitation for infection to set in
HAGARI BOMMANAHALLI HOSPITAL
In a sharp contrast to the depressing scenario presented in the above town hospitals the government hospital at Hagaribommanahalli presents a different picture-an ideal and desirable set up. The administration, discipline and devotion to duty among the staff, up keep of medical equipment, aseptic conditions are exemplary. For Sevashrama, it is a pleasure and welcoming place to hold camps there.
When you observe and compare these contrasting conditions in two hospitals the question that arises obviously is: if a government hospital at Hagaribommanahalli can be maintained well, why not other government hospitals? What ails them? Can’t some thing be done to improve them?
It is a practice with us that patients after surgery are kept overnight for observation before discharging them following morning. It is a matter of regret that mostly no nursing staff would be available to care for the patients barring exceptions. Nor would they be available at the time of discharge even to take a few instructions from our surgeons
Intention behind writing this is to bring these issues to the attention of concerned so that some corrective steps are initiated and the reputation of government hospitals, presently none to gloat about, are restored to regain the confidence of poor who have nowhere to go In sum, the problems stated above are solvable with proper and careful attention to each problem . May we request you to kindly pay attention to some points raised above and take necessary steps to make our hospitals iconic establishments meant to serve the citizens in a very effective way?
Briefly stated the issues are
1.Hygeine and cleanliness in and surrounding areas of the must be kept clean scrupulously tidy
2. Hospital premises should be patient friendly for the aged and infirm.
3.Toilets must kept clean at all times.
4. Important and critical equipment like generators, air conditioners, autoclave equipment for sterilisation, must be kept in top condition to work reliably
5. Corridors, and passages must be well lit and fitted with fans and lights
It goes without saying that Sevashrama can deliver more cataract surgeries to the deprived in larger numbers if the conditions in the hospitals are made more conducive. It is a measure of our success that despite many odds we encounter in such far off places, we have been fulfilling our social commitment to serve the poor and needy of the society to a great extent without turning back any one as far as possible. It is our fervent appeal to all concerned to look at the issues raised above and take steps to improve the conditions of our hospitals
Finally we wish to deal with the matter of funding for the cataract surgeries we conduct at the far removed places like above ones. Government of Karnataka in its wisdom has stopped whatever little it was paying earlier. Instead of enhancing payment that would boost and encourage an organisation like Sevashrama in this national cause of eradicating the scourge of old age cataract .This has left us to raise our own resources an effort that is a drain of energy on our meagre manpower. Nonetheless we seek support from the government in a substantial way to keep going our efforts at social service. Looking at our track record so far in bringing succour to cataract afflicted in remote parts of North Karnataka, may we request the government to reconsider a payment even if when we use the government hospital premises and facility to an extent?
We would once again request you to take steps to improve conditions in government hospitals and bring them to a level that anyone can be proud of.
D VENKATESHA MURTHY
SVS/JT DIR/REPORT ON HOSPITALs/ /2014-15 DATE 01-04-2015
THE JOINT DIRECTOR
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & FAMILY WELFARE
ANAND RAO CIRCLE
BANGALORE 560 009
As you are aware Sri Vivekanada Sevashrama has been conducting free cataract surgery camps in parts of North Karnataka with the sole aim of bringing sight to the sightless. In this endeavour Sevashrama has come across many deficiencies in government hospitals which we feel we must bring to your kind attention. We are hopeful you would spare a few moments to go through the attached papers and act upon them so that the government hospitals give better account to those who has no alternative recourse. We await your response in a positive way which in turn will enable us to deliver more cataract surgeries to the needy and poor.
D VENKATESHA MURTHY
Copy to:- 1 HON MINISTER
HEALTH AND FAMILY WEFARE
BANGALORE 560 001
2. THE JOINT SECRETARY
HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE
3. CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER
4.CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER
5.CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER