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Centre mulls upgrading ESIC Hospital, Ludhiana to 500-bed facility

The work to undertake major upgrade and revamp of the ESI Corporation (ESIC) Model Hospital in Ludhiana has picked up pace, officials have said.

The Union Government had approved the project at the cost of Rs 8.2 crore while acceding to the request of Rajya Sabha MP from Ludhiana Sanjeev Arora in February.

The development assumes significance as it was the first-ever major advancement and overhaul of the ailing health facility for the employees, especially industrial workers, since its inception in 1969.

Besides, the proposal to add 200 more beds and develop the ESIC hospital as the state-of-the-art facility with 500-bed capacity was also under active consideration of the Centre.

An announcement to this effect was made by ESIC Director General (DG) Rajendra Kumar in response to the demand raised by Arora.

This followed a series of meetings held between Arora and Union Minister of Labour and Employment Bhupender Yadav during the past over a year.

The minister had also held a meeting of officials from his ministry and the state government in Chandigarh recently to discuss and finalise the plan to establish six new ESIC Hospitals in the state, including another one in Ludhiana district, besides other demands of Punjab pertaining to the welfare of labour and employees.

The ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) member in the Upper House of Parliament from Punjab has impressed upon Yadav that the Ludhiana ESIC hospital with 262-bed capacity was not only lacking beds but also other facilities to provide treatment and medical facilities to almost 12 lakh workers employed in various establishments covered under the ESIC, which runs the lone hospital in the state’s biggest and largest district, in terms of area and population, since its inception in 1969.

To review the ongoing work, the MP visited the ESIC hospital here recently.

During his visit, the hospital’s Medical Superintendent (MS), Dr Bhairvi Deshmukh, apprised him that the work on renovation of the ICU was almost complete while 65 per cent work on firefighting had been completed. Arora was told that the firefighting work would be completed by August but he emphasised to complete the task as early as possible.

He was also updated that 60 per cent work on extension of medical gas pipeline had been completed. However, a revised estimate amounting to Rs 4.64 crore has been submitted for provision of four 320 TR energy efficient central air-conditioning plants, which was in the process of approval.

After taking stock of the ongoing work, Arora called up ESIC Director General Rajendra Kumar, requesting him to further expedite the ongoing renovation work in the hospital in the larger interests of patients and the hospital administration. The ESIC DG assured Arora that he himself was monitoring the project and would do the best to further speed up the ongoing work.

Dr Bhairvi Deshmukh raised certain issues pertaining to staff shortage and police post requirement on the hospital campus, following which the MP took up the matter with Deputy Commissioner Sakshi Sawhney and CP Kuldeep Singh Chahal.

On Arora’s demand to increase the bed occupancy rate (BOR) as the ICU and other facilities were being upgraded, Dr Deshmukh apprised him that the hospital’s BOR had already increased from 59 to 64 per cent in the recent past.

The AAP parliamentarian also insisted to treat all patients in the hospital, instead of referring them to other hospitals. He added that only most critical patients should be referred to other hospitals. He also assured to take up the issue of hospital’s understaffing with the higher officials concerned.

Arora told The Tribune here on Saturday that the ESIC DG has conveyed to him that the work to upgrade and revamp the ESIC hospital had been undertaken at the cost of Rs 819.51 lakh.

Soon, 200 more beds
“The proposal for expansion of the ESIC hospital from 300 beds to 500 beds is also under consideration,” Rajya Sabha MP Sanjeev Arora said while quoting the ESIC DG’s communication.

He reiterated that Yadav had already promised him to almost double the capacity of the ESIC hospital and provide state-of-the-art facilities here during a meeting with him in New Delhi last year. “He has promised to provide state-of-the-art facilities to the hospital and increase its bed capacity to 500,” the MP said.

Upgrade plan
Divulging the proposed upgrade plan and outcome of the survey conducted to this effect, Arora said: “The hospital building was constructed in two parts. The old block, in which the administrative block and OPD is running, had been declared unsafe as per the structural audit report conducted by the NIT in Jalandhar. However, during a site visit by the Chief Engineer, it has been observed that the old building was in a good condition and there were no signs of any distress/ deterioration of the building.”

To get the second opinion from another agency/ institute, the proposal for fresh structural audit has been sent to the IIT, Roorkee, and the IIT, Ropar.

The MP said the new hospital building block was safe as per the structural audit report and all wards, Emergency, ICU, operation theatre, labour room, laundry and medical store were running from there.

“Since as per the local building by-laws, the whole land is occupied and there is no scope for new construction on the land, the only way of expansion is possible through vertical expansion or demolition of any existing building,” Arora said.

He said the proposal for structural audit for old and hostel block buildings had been forwarded to three IITs — the IIT, Roorkee, IIT, Ropar and IIT, Delhi.

“The quotation of the IIT, Delhi, was found lowest and work has been awarded. However, consent for advance payment of 40 per cent in place of 100 per cent has been sought from the Delhi IIT,” he added. Tribune India

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