Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute

Newspapers have carried detailed biographies and achievements of K. Mohandas as Director of Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology as he is being appointed as the Vice Chancellor of new Kerala University of Health and Allied Sciences in Thrissur.

However, the grapevine is that the new director at the Institute Dr. Radhakrishnan is bent on undoing what has been done by Dr. Mohandas. This may be pure canard and result of factionalism among staff. However, it has becoming increasingly clear that the Institute is not maintaining its old standards. It is not clear whose legacy this is. But, overcrowding is indeed one of the main reasons.

Long waiting time for patients is usual at the hospital and it can be explained as the result of overcrowding. However, how can one explain hour-long queues before the cash counter? Why do doctors fail to visit patients admitted to the hospital for days?

Postponement of procedures are becoming routine in the cardiology wing. Patients are readied for surgeries, angiograms and the like and then abruptly told that the procedures has been postponed (without any medical reasons). They are often administered preparatory medicines and made to forgo food for hours, only to be told that all that was in vain. (When something like that had happened in a government hospital at Neyyattinkara, the government had ordered an enquiry). This causes considerable stress among patients and that could even be fatal for cardiac patients. A few patients sob.

Patients, whose surgeries or angioplasty is postponed, simply remain in their beds — no doctor may visit them and no nurse would take their blood pressure. This happens when the Institute is short of beds to admit all those on the waiting list.

Well, the food may be good for most patients– the hospital provides eggs to patients on medication for cholesterol. Some say that there are rats in the intensive care units of the Institute. One indeed finds syringes and waste materials on the sun shades.

The doctors, especially those of the neurological wing, seems to be devoted to their work despite overcrowding and other problems. The nurses are qualified and experienced, but tend to ignore safety in minor matters like administration of IV fluids. So, one may find air bubbles in the tube used for administration of IV fluids.

The hospital system is indeed stressed and it is high time that the Central government pumped in more money to expand the facilities. A new building need to constructed to meet the demand for beds.