Nagpur: An unprecedented flow of patients from the city, rural parts and neighbouring states have left the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Nagpur, in deep crisis. The premier institute is working at nearly 50 per cent of its proposed capacity which has completely saturated its ability to admit any more patients.
After many nursing staff proceeded on maternity and childcare leave, the situation worsened with elective surgery patients to being kept on the waitlist.
Lack of sufficient manpower has prevented the central institute’s administration from operating more than 500 beds in respective wards. AIIMS-Nagpur has committed 960 beds and some of its world-class infrastructure and high-end medical machines are lying unused.
On Sunday evening, its two emergency wards having 50 beds were full though new patients continued to be wheeled in. Patients are being managed for more than two days in the emergency ward. The situation turned worse with new critical patients being kept on stretchers and wheelchairs in the emergency wards too. Some relatives alleged they were asked to take their patients either to GMCH or any other hospital.
GMCH officials confirmed that many patients are being referred to them from AIIMS citing reasons like a lack of specialists or beds.
When TOI visited the campus during the day, the board displaying the hospital’s bed availability was missing outside the emergency ward.
“We don’t refuse admission but explain to them that the patient will have to stay on a stretcher or wheelchair till a bed is available. Even if a severe patient is wheeled in, we can’t remove the one already on the bed,” said a staff.
Another on-duty staff said there is no bed available in the respective wards too. “We can’t send patients back as they are critical. Beds in emergency wards too are full. Rest of the patients are managed on stretchers or wheelchairs?” the staff said.
Dr Vibha Dutta, director of, AIIMS-Nagpur said beds and manpower will be soon increased. “A chunk of nursing staff is on maternity or childcare leave. So, we are unable to increase the number of beds. We shall divert nursing staff from other duties to wards where the workload is more. Overall, the nursing staff is falling short. We have recruited 40 to 50 more nursing staff who shall join soon,” she said.
Dr Dutta added that functional beds are close to 500 while AIIMS Nagpur has committed 960. “Emergency beds are excluded from the functional ones. Faculty positions to are lying vacant. We have advertised the vacant posts but the government is yet to sanction them. ICUs too are affected. Critical patients are normally not returned but admitted on priority,” she said.
She said the patient flow is too much. “We have increased the number of surgery days to three from two earlier. The waiting period has come down to 10 days. The patients have increased,” she said.
What patients and relatives say
“We have been standing here for the last two hours. They are saying the bed is not vacant,” said a relative of a Chhindwara patient, who came with chest pain and a severely swollen right leg.
“I brought my wife yesterday at 1 pm but got a bed at 6 pm in an emergency. There was too much rush. After examining their CT scan and blood tests, they said she needs to be admitted but there is no bed,” said a city resident.
Ajay Kumar Gulhane, a resident of Seoni village, had rushed his mother to Nagpur on Saturday. “We had given up hope but now she is doing well. She was breathless. All doctors and nurses are going a great job. Private hospitals are there to only fleece you. I am happy she got a bed in the emergency ward,” he said.