GB Pant hospital’s ICUs suffer acute staff crunch

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Minimum of 131 nurses required, one nurse caters to 23 newborns in ward 9

SRINAGAR: Valley’s lone children specialty—GB Pant hospital is facing shortage of nearly 131 nurses in Intensive care units which have hit the critical care badly.
Sources told Kashmir Reader that Ward 9, which is the level-3 of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), has only one nurse to cater to 23 sick babies during the night.
They said the terminally ill newborns in level-1 NICU are also facing life threat as the critical area is left with five nurses to look after over 40 neonates at one time.
“There is a deficiency of 131 of nursing staff in the intensive care areas where babies up to one year are admitted,” sources said.
“The health department has been callous towards the staff shortage. It has also failed to appoint a fresh batch of nurses to replace over 20 contractual nurses, who resigned from the hospital to join in SKIMS,” an official said wishing anonymity.
GB Pant Hospital is a 275-bed healthcare institute with a daily intake of nearly 1200 OPD patients while 60 to 80 in-patients are admitted daily. However, patients are facing life threat due to acute shortage of staff as only 110 are presently working in the hospital against the requirement of over 240 nurses.
The present situation of nursing strength in critical areas including NICU, Ward 8, Ward 9 and PICU is also much below the guidelines of Nursing Council of India, as per an official report.
“Ward 9, which is the step three NICU, is facing worst shortage with one nurse taking care of 23 sick newborns during night hours. During the day eleven babies are under the care of one nurse,” the report said.
As per the guidelines of Nursing Council of India (NCI), there should be one nurse for each baby in the intensive care.
The hospital has admitted over 1300 critical newborn babies to the NICU in three months with a huge burden referred from district hospitals and private nursing homes.
According to doctors, the present infrastructure and manpower at the hospitals are unable to handle huge rush of patients from private institutions and rural areas.
“It is difficult to manage because of the overburden in the hospital. The doctor-patient ratio is also not favourable. The overcrowding has also led to indiscipline and corruption at all levels,” said an administrator.
The health department has several times announced that they are coming up with a policy to reduce the referrals. However, no draft has been made public so far.

 

 

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