No Information, No Compassion, Short-Staffed: GTB Hospital, Delhi 

‘My mother had breathing problem. GTB hospital admitted her without confirmed COVID+ report,’ said a patient’s son.

2 min read

Sitting on a pavement, an old man struggling for breath, his son and another relative watching anxiously and helplessly. Within the campus of Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital, one of the Delhi government's nodal COVID-19 facilities. The son says doctors at the hospital have refused to test his father for COVID-19. They are also refusing to explain why.

“GTB hospital is telling us to take him to a different hospital for the test. They are not testing him here. We don’t know why they cannot test him.”
Patient’s relative

‘Lack of Compassion’

The Quint decided to do a ground reality check at GTB Hospital, speaking to several patients' relatives on the hospital campus. What we found was discouraging. Many relatives complained about a lack of compassion and non-cooperation from GTB's doctors and healthcare staff.

“The healthcare staff is not cooperating. They are not looking after the patient properly. They tell us to sit outside and wait. Nurses make fun of us, as if it is a joke. Healthcare staff should comfort patients.”
Sonu, a patient’s son

Patients' relatives say they are also worried about the quality of medical treatment at GTB hospital.

“My brother-in-law has a phone with him. He told me over the phone that they are not giving him oxygen inside, inspite of having enough oxygen cylinders. We are worried about this poor quality of treatment and want to shift him to a private hospital. But that too is getting difficult because GTB is unwilling to discharge him and is not giving any reason either.”
Deepak Mandal, a patient’s relative

Relatives also claimed that suspected COVID-19 patients were not being kept in isolation while waiting for the test results. They feared that in such a situation a patient could catch the infection inside the hospital.

“We don’t know when will they give us the COVID report. Healthcare staff said they will take samples and let us know. They told us to sit outside. Yes, I am worried that what if my mother gets the COVID virus from other patients in the hospital. We are scared.”
Sonu, a patient’s son

‘We Can Create Beds, Not Doctors’: A Source in GTB

The problems do not end here.

The Delhi government app showed us that 1,500 beds were available for COVID-19 patients at GTB hospital, but the real number may be much lower.

A very senior GTB Hospital official told The Quint, that currently they actually have 1,000 beds, of which 200 beds are occupied, while 800 beds are available. He also said that all these 200 patients are either on oxygen or ventilators. But he emphasised that the bottleneck was not beds but staff. He said GTB hospital urgently needs more doctors to handle the constantly growing number of patients.

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