Hyderabad: Demanding the renovation of the historic Osmania General Hospital building and construction of a new one, the Telangana Government Doctors Association staged a protest in front of the OGH building on Wednesday, September 13.
“We are forced to treat patients on sand floors since the main building was shut two years ago. For over 9 years people have been raising concerns over state of the historic hospital building and demanding renovation, but the government is just prolonging the process,” said a protesting doctor.
As many as 150 doctors and around 400 PG medical students from all the departments of OGH participated in the protest on Wednesday. The doctors’ body has planned to continue the protest until the state government issues the order for construction of the new building.
Speaking with Siasat.com, Dr Uday, one of the protesting doctors, said, “A peaceful protest will be held for five days initially. We will intensify the agitation and boycott emergency services if the governments fails to respond to our demands.”
Further highlighting the situation at the OGH, he said, “We are currently accommodating 80 patients in the ward with 40-bed capacity. Many patients are even treated in the corridors most of the time due to lack of beds.”
Stating that Telangana HC has been awaiting the GO, after which orders for a new block will be issued, the doctor said that the state government has only filed an affidavit and accused them of delaying the process.
During the protest, the doctors also raises other significant demands. The protestors called for the release of Pay Revision Commission (PRC) arrears for doctors. They further urged the government to revive the posts of deputy director of medical health and demanded time-bound promotions for doctors in the public health department.
OGH demolition: Patients might soon need to wear helmets, says Telangana HC
They also proposed the transformation of the Vaidya Vidhana Parishad into Secondary Health Services, with the issuance of salary health cards through treasury channels. Their demands are aimed at streamlining the healthcare bureaucracy for improved efficiency.
Furthermore, they demanded that only general seniority should be considered for 33 District Medical and Health Officer (DMHO) posts.
The association also urged for the creation of District Coordinating Hospital (DCH) posts to enhance healthcare delivery.
Will state government raze the OGH building?
In July, the Telangana government decided to demolish the old building of OGH and construct a new hospital building at its place. The authorities submitted an affidavit for the same to the Telangana High Court, announcing their decision to raze the structure, citing its dilapidated condition.
However several activists who were against the decision held that health infrastructure and heritage can go hand in hand and the heritage building of OGH must be restored and not demolished.
Subsequently, the Telangana High Court in August urged the state government to file counter affidavit in two weeks. The HC held that the condition of the hospital building is such that “doctors and patients might need to wear helmets soon.”
Among these PILs submitted to the court, some petitioners urged the court to direct the government to initiate the demolition of the existing OGH structure and replace it with a new one.
Currently, the OGH can accomodate 1,100 beds as the number decreased after the old OGH building was shut due to its dilapidated condition.