Cantonment Hospital still facing birth pangs

Cantonment Hospital

Hyderabad: More than nine months after Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar inaugurated the new Cantonment General Hospital at Bolaram, the hospital is facing teething problems.

The hospital, a revamped version of the Cantonment Infectious Diseases Hospital that was established in 1933, caters to the needs of the entire Secunderabad Cantonment. The new hospital, officials had said during the inauguration, would be operated by availing services of specialist medical practitioners from various departments by engaging them on a honorarium basis, apart from the regular Cantonment medical staff.

However, if the staff at the hospital is to be believed, the hospital is now working only ‘partially’ and is more of a dispensary than a full-fledged hospital.

“There is no round-the-clock service, because the existing staff strength is not adequate. We have two general doctors, one pediatrician, one dentist, and one physiotherapist, and five permanent nurses. The X-Ray unit might be functional in another 10 days. That is it. How can a hospital be fully functional with that sort of staff? From ‘safaiwalas’ to doctors, we need at least 50 more personnel,” they said.

Although a proposal asking for more staff for the hospital was submitted to the Cantonment Board, nothing much has progressed so far, they said.

Renamed as the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Cantonment General Hospital, the present version, built at a cost of Rs 5.2 crore, is just the first phase of a project for a 100-bedded hospital. There are 30 beds now, with no clarity on further expansion, the staff said.

A proposal to impose charges on various services at the hospital, primarily for administration of IV fluids, physiotherapy, and dental services, meanwhile, is awaiting approval from the Board. While IV fluid charges are proposed to be fixed at Rs 60 for Cantonment residents and Rs 100 for others, physiotherapy charges would be Rs 50 and Rs 100 respectively. Dental charges would vary depending on the procedures, starting from Rs 50 and going up to Rs 600, officials said.

Meanwhile, SCB officials said the Bowenpally dispensary was in the process of being upgraded to an e-Urban Health Clinic on the lines of the one at Rasoolpura, with State-appointed staff to operate the clinic. The Cantonment dispensary at Picket too was likely to be taken over in the same manner.


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