The Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Delhi has become home to a 382-bed facility specialising in the field of trauma care, addressing one of India’s most underserved medical needs.
The centre will be home to emergency beds, an intensive care unit (ICU), and six operating theatres. Chief Minister Arvind Kejiriwal, who inaugurated the centre on Saturday, heralded it as part of a broader push to boost healthcare infrastructure in the national capital, describing it as “a massive expansion…in various levels.” The centre is anticipated to commence operations within the next eighteen months.
“This hospital should have cost Rs 362 crore but the Delhi government is constructing it in just Rs 71 crore,” Kejiriwal claimed – translating to a saving saving of Rs 291 crore. “This has been possible because Delhi has an honest and efficient government that saves peoples’ tax money and is, therefore, able to provide the best services to all our people.”
In India, trauma care fails to reach many people who need it in a timely manner. This leads to high rates of mortality due to accidents such as brain trauma and road traffic accidents. Once trauma is sustained, a ‘golden hour’ becomes imperative for positive survival outcomes. As such, the high death rate in India is unsurprising given the gaps in the country’s emergency healthcare infrastructure.
Steps have been taken to improve emergency and trauma care in India in recent years, with the announcement of high-profile initiatives such as the addition of an emergency care department to every medical college by 2022.
Blockbuster initiatives such as the inauguration of a trauma centre at the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital also go some way to fill the gap – and ought to be replicated, statewide and nationwide. Indeed, the Delhi government has mandated that forty percent of hospital beds in 300-bed facilities be marked for emergency and trauma care. At the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital, fifty percent of beds are for emergency and trauma care. The Delhi government has also rolled out schemes such as ‘ambulances on bikes’ to ensure timely delivery of emergency medical attention.
Kejiriwal also pointed to the Delhi government’s flagship healthcare scheme, Mohalla Clinics. He said 200 such clinics had been built and 200 would be constructed within the following fifteen days. 300 further clinics will be built by December, he added.
“We are matching the healthcare standards of Denmark, which is one of the most developed nations in the world,” Kejiriwal asserted. “Denmark has universal healthcare coverage for all, every patient, rich or poor, can access free treatments in all the hospitals. We are matching the most progressive societies in the world…in terms of providing quality healthcare to the people.”