After woman delivered baby outside, Safdarjung hospital plans changes

After a woman delivered a child outside the Emergency ward of Safdarjung Hospital — a few feet from a garbage bin — in July, the administration has proposed some changes to make life easier for patients — including the addition of a separate radiologist in the gynaecology department to 40 more registration centres on campus.

Medical Superintendent Dr B L Sherwal told The Indian Express that considering the patient flow and to manage the crowd, more registration centres are required: “Currently, we have 24 registration centres and 40 more will be added. The number of patients is increasing for which we need more registration centres.”

He added that they are trying to accommodate more beds in the wards of the gynaecology department and security of the area has been increased to manage patients coming for deliveries and treatment.

On July 19, a woman had delivered her baby on the floor outside the emergency department of the hospital, almost 15 hours after she reached the hospital to get herself admitted. The family had alleged she was forced to deliver outside as the hospital kept postponing her admission and did not act in time.

Post the incident, the Centre transferred Dr S V Arya and appointed Dr Sherwal as the new medical superintendent.

“Whatever happened was unfortunate but it can happen anywhere with such a major patient inflow and our hospital’s no refusal policy. However, we are learning from the incident,” said Dr Sherwal.

Safdarjung Hospital’s obstetrics and gynaecology departments is one of the busiest in the city and sees around 100 deliveries per day. It accounts for nearly 10% of the total births in the national capital. Of the total deliveries, around 20-30 are done surgically through a caesarean section. The hospital has nearly 300 beds, including ICU and high dependence unit beds, under the obstetrics and gynaecology department. The beds are utilised not only by pregnant women, but women with other gynaecological issues such as cancer or anaemia. It is a common sight to see three-four women sharing beds at Safdarjung hospital.

On the reconstruction and redevelopment of the gynaecology department, the medical superintendent said it’s a long-term project and he wants to focus on what can be done immediately with limited resources.

Other projects

Dr Sherwal said the hospital will soon have private wards like other central government-run hospitals, with nominal Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) rates. “We are planning to launch the wards in October and it will be a 20-bed one. We will increase the capacity as and when required,” he added.

CT scan machines in the hospital stop working on a regular basis due to an excessive patient load, and to tackle this, the administration has placed the request for three more machines, which will be acquired in the next six months. More than 150 CT scans are done on one machine in the hospital per day.

Dr Sherwal added that two more laparoscopic machines have been acquired.

Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inbox

There will also be a facility of screening OPDs where patients will arrive before being sent to the respective departments for treatment and check-ups. “This service has been started at the paediatrics and medicine department for now,” he added.

Dr Sherwal said the hospital intends to reduce the wait list for operation theatres, which is more than six months. “We’ve prepared a team, which is working to start with facilities of extra OTs to reduce the wait list,” he said.