Dial 8888 for Medical Emergencies; And Other Improvements in the Institute Hospital


IITMHospitalThe death of M Raghavendra aka ‘Curd’, a third year B Tech student from Hyderabad, last year due to supposed negligence on the part of the institute hospital led to a great uproar among students regarding the questionable state of the institute hospital. It culminated in an organized protest for an immediate improvement in the rather distressing conditions of the hospital. Taking all complaints and propositions into account, a few changes to its structure and basic functioning had thus been assured.

An external committee consisting of experienced doctors from city hospitals like Apollo, Mallar etc took form. Its purpose was to evaluate the functioning of the hospital and to suggest recommendations for its improvement. After scrutinizing the hospital thoroughly, the committee reported that for a tier one ranked hospital, the institute hospital was quite complete in itself. Nevertheless, a few modifications have taken place.

As of now, the hospital has two ambulances. One is stationed inside the institute which caters to local needs. The other is stationed at T-nagar and is mainly used if there is a need to transfer patients from the institute hospital to certain selected hospitals outside. The 24 hour emergency support that had already been in place has been amply updated. Apart from this, stretchers will soon be provided to each hostel.

Until last year, there were fewer doctors than the required number and hence, their schedules were all choked up and they ended up working extra hours. In order to avoid this, new doctors were taken in this year and their schedules were adjusted as per necessity. This led to higher frequency of availability of doctors of all specializations- a change which has been reported to be quite beneficial. Also, over the last one year, all the cots in the hospital have been replaced with more comfortable ones and isolation facilities have been made available for students with chicken pox, hepatitis and other common communicable diseases.

A new digital X-ray unit has been added to the hospital. The advantage of getting this in is that X-rays can be magnified and analyzed as per requirement. Also, the hospital has become totally film-free. The dark room has been removed. This way, it has essentially become slightly more eco-friendly. Claim is that the sonography unit has been thoroughly updated. Radiology and sonography facilities are being provided round the clock on all days.

Earlier, if the institute hospital recommended Apollo to its patient, he/she had to deposit an amount of about 15,000 in Apollo in order to get the necessary treatment done. This posed quite an inconvenience since such a huge amount could not be readily made available. Taking this problem into consideration, this procedure has been scrapped.  But the insurance claim rate is about 160% and hence the premium might increase soon.  This insurance has been tailor made especially for the institute but can claimed in any of the pre-mentioned hospitals.

Complete computerization of the institute hospital is expected to be wholly achieved in three phases. Phase one includes computerized registration of a student of the institute to the hospital. It is claimed that the software is in place and that the medical database of students has been updated. Once the required servers are got in, this phase would be complete. Phase two includes cybernation of internal processes- the time slots of all the doctors on record and also their availability would be stored in advance. A patient would be given an appointment slip based on the availability of the physician of his/her choice so as to avoid waiting. Both these phases together are expected to take about 6 more months. The third phase would include storage of lab reports, prescriptions, etc in an elaborate database. However, it has been admitted that the entire process would take quite a long time.

The CMO has vividly stated that it is very important for students to keep checking the hospital website for updates. She has requested for co-operation from the students’ side in terms of the OPD timings, limitations of a ‘primary health care centre’, feasibility of certain demands etc. She has also specifically mentioned that timely feedback, suggestions and complaints from the students to the hospital authorities would play a vital role in the betterment of the hospital. One very important change that everybody has to be aware of is that the change in the ambulance call number from 8333 to 8888. Calls on 8888 would be promptly acknowledged without doubt.

At the very least, the fact that some changes have taken place within a short period of time is quite respectable. Hopefully, this would consciously ingrain back into students some of the lost trust in the institute hospital.

Compiled With inputs from Student General Secretary, Ram Nikhil

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