Compared to all other government hospital in Bangalore the Jayanagar general hospital is definitely better in terms of quality of service, ambience, lung space, parking facilities free from pollution and congestion, asserts the hospital superintendent, K. Nagaraja, in this interview with TWB:
* What is the percentage of patients visiting the hospital and has it risen?
I have been serving here for the past four years and during this time, the number of visitors has gone up from 30% to 70 % – this is a remarkable achievement for a government hospital.
* What is the profile of the visitors – predominantly lower middle class and poor?
No, we also get a substantial number of people from the upper middle and the upper classes. Of course, the hospital caters basically to those who cannot afford going to a private hospital, though we are open to every citizen.
* What about the facilities available and how much do they cost?
The hospital has all specialty physicians, pediatric, dental, orthopedic, skin, OBG, apart from lab facilities for random blood checkup, urine, kidney test, ECG, etc.
For BPL cardholders, ECG is absolutely free, while for others it costs only Rs 25/-. We also provide most of the medicines free of cost. We have 300 beds and charge Rs 80/- per day for in-patients.
What needs to be done if the ambience at the hospital has to be improved?
We did call for a tender for maintenance, cleaning, housekeeping and horticulture maintenance including planting of saplings and garden, etc. but no one came forward as the earnest money deposit required by the government is considered to be high at 30% of the project cost. I therefore appeal to NGOs and corporates to enlist their services and help us to provide better services to the needy people.
The hospital does not offer some tests like thyroid tests. Why?
It is not that we do not have such facilities, we do have the facility, but we get very few enquiries for this test, and it is not at all cost-effective for doing the tests for one or two patients, therefore we refer them to govt. hospitals like Victoria and Bowring hospitals.
What are changes you introduced after you took over as Superintendent?
We have installed an electric laundry i.e. Linen system to wash the clothes, and infrastructure enhanced by adding new equipments and facilities such as endoscope, new ICU with an NST machine at maternity ward which will monitor the heartbeat of the new born baby, ECG, and high voltage generator.
Whatever the nominal amount we collect is being utilized for the upgradation of the infrastructure. We have also introduced a fingerprint attendance system to prevent delinquency in attendance, and have restricted the attestation of documents by gazetted officers, etc sought by students or individuals. This was coming in the way of our doctors attending to patients in need of medical help, and so we put an end to this.
Can you list the major surgeries conducted at your hospital?
We recently did a hip surgery successfully absolutely free of cost, which would have cost at least Rs 1.5 lakh in any other private hospital.
What people want
• Involve NGO’s participation in a big way.
• Restrict entry to the medical representative during visiting hours when there are still patients waiting to see the doctor.
• Maintain greenery and painting of the building, enforce discipline among the lower cadres and follow the queue system strictly.
• Conduct awareness programmes about the facilities available.
• Provide public telephone booths
• Provide canteen facility.
• Improve the maintenance of toilets, clean the floors regularly, provide water taps to the wash basins in toilets.
• Plug leakages in several departments when it rains.
• Window panels to be replaced in the wards and toilets
• Keep a permanent vigilance and security in and around the compounds as people are committing nuisance here and thus causing health hazard.
• Make use of the lung space to extend more facilities with latest equipments and infrastructure by introducing Hi-tech facilities for which you can even charge nominal fees to generate revenue for further improvements
• Keep regular watch on corruption among the staff