Telangana’s exclusive COVID-19 hospital – the state-run Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad – is witnessing a unique crisis due to the shortage of ward boys. Inadequate staff at the 60-bed casualty ward of the hospital is resulting in delays in clearing COVID-19 bodies in the past few days, proving to be a nightmare for patients availing treatment there. This news was first reported in The Hindu.
Confirming to TNM that the situation was grim, a doctor working in the hospital said, “While around 10 ward boys and caretakers are needed for service for each shift, presently only around 4-5 of them are working. There is a lot of delay due to this.” The Superintendent of the hospital also admitted that this was a prevailing problem.
Due to the delay, many patients who require ventilator support are forced to wait for nearly 4 hours until a dead body is cleared and the bed sanitised.
Speaking to TNM, Gandhi Hospital Superintendent Raja Rao said that the Deputy Superintendent has been entrusted with the job of sorting out the issue. The Superintendent further added that due to the fear of the disease, which has claimed thousands of lives, the outsourcing agency is unable to find workers. “Workers are not willing to work in the hospital,” he said.
Responding to the Superintendent’s statement, another doctor at the hospital added, “Why will workers endanger themselves unless they are offered some incentives? The management should offer a hike in salary, perks, etc. The hospital cannot run like this for long. The workload on the ward boys and caretakers is too much. The management has to ensure that the bodies are cleared promptly.”
Gandhi Hospital has around 300 outsourced Class-IV employees, including 110 patient care providers and 150 ward boys. Some among these are engaged to clear dead bodies.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Telangana recorded 1,554 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of persons in the state infected by coronavirus to 49,259. The state also reported nine deaths. With this, the death toll rose to 438. The state presently has 11,155 active patients