Two persons—a patient and an attender - suffered injuries after a huge concrete block fell from the ceiling at the Osmania General Hospital in Hyderabad on Monday. The victims suffered minor injuries.
The incident took place at the entrance of the outpatient block, said doctors. Previously, numerous such accidents were recorded at the Old Building (in-patient block), a 100-year-old structure, which is in a dilapidated state.
Following incident, the Osmania General Hospital Joint Action Committee (JAC) said that they want the Health Minister to take prompt steps to construct a new building and also to direct authorities to periodically maintain the structure.
Blaming the negligence of authorities for the incident, OGHJAC chairman Dr Pandu Naik said that the incident took place because the authorities are not maintaining the structure well. “The outpatient block is just 40 years old. But the authorities don’t maintain them properly. The washrooms get clogged regularly and they don’t bother about it, as a result the structure is giving away.”
“Housing patients in old building is now becoming very risky. In the past few months, regularly the concrete cements blocks have been falling. We can’t take chances.”
“The Health Minister has assured that they will construct a new building in the premises soon. I hope they really prioritise the matter and avoid any eventuality. Patients and doctors can’t be in perpetual fear of the structure crumbling down,” expressed Naik.
Under the aegis of OGHJAC—all students’, employees and trade unions were protesting since January. After nearly three months of protest, the Health Minister C Laxma Reddy, acknowledged the grievance of the staff and promised to construct a new structure. Following this, the protests were suspended.
In 2017, after reviewing the structure, the Telangana State Medical Services and Infrastructure Development Corporation (TSMSIDC) declared that the the ‘Old building’ (In Patient block) of the historic Osmania General Hospital (OGH) as an ‘Unsafe Zone’. However, as there was no other space to accommodate the patients, the hospital management had evacuated the third and second floor of the building and they are now being provided treatment in the first and ground floor.
“How is that going to help, if the structure just crumbles down?” asked Naik.
In 2015, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had proposed demolishing the heritage building by decategorizing it as a heritage structure, and constructing a new hospital in the same premises. However, heritage enthusiasts argued that the hospital constructed during the Nizam era shouldn’t be destroyed. After facing opposition, the government withdrew its proposal.