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Times of India
01 November 2010
By Revathi Ramanan
Chennai, India

WAITING FOR TREATMENT: As a new lab is being constructed at the GH, patients in need of an angiogram are being sent to the Stanley Medical College Hospital. (Above) People queuing up in front of the cardiology dept at the Stanley Medical College Hospital WAITING FOR TREATMENT: As a new lab is being constructed at the GH, patients in need of an angiogram are being sent to the Stanley Medical College Hospital. (Above) People queuing up in front of the cardiology dept at the Stanley Medical College Hospital
For the past few days, S Kalaivani has had a harrowing time, struggling to get her father treated in a government hospital. "My father had severe chest pain and I took him to the General Hospital. From there I was directed to the Stanley Medical College Hospital because some facilities were not available at the GH. At Stanley we had to wait a long time before he could be treated," she says. Even now the doctors say he is not out of danger, she adds.

With the angiogram procedure for detecting blocks in the heart not being done at the GH because of a new lab being constructed, patients needing an angiogram have been sent to the Stanley Medical College Hospital for treatment for the past six months.

The Stanley Medical College Hospital which daily sees around three patients undergoing angiogram is now seeing six–eight patients, said Dr G Karthikeyan, head of the department of cardiology. This has led to long queues and a longer waiting period. "The number of beds and stretchers we have are not enough to handle the crowd and we are seeing twice the number of patients everyday. There has been no increase in the staff and we are finding it very difficult to manage," said a nurse in the Critical Care Unit.

"Because of the increased number of patients there are now longer queues for medicines and to meet the doctors. I have been waiting for almost two hours for my son to get his angiogram done," says S Rani, whose 20–year–old son suffered an attack.

"The new facility at the GH should be opening any time now and after that the condition should be stabilised," said Dr Karthikeyan. He also mentioned that only patients needing angiogram were being sent to Stanley from GH. "GH is a bigger hospital with better facilities. The doctors there handle a bulk of the cases and send only those needing an angiogram to us," he said.

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