Believe it or not, there is just one bed per 55 patients in Centre-run Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital. This revelation means if a patient visits the super-specialty hospital, the probability of getting a bed is extremely less.In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Ashwini Kumar Choubey said that the primary responsibility to increase the bed-to-patient ratio lies with the respective state or Union Territory government as public health and hospitals were state subjects.Other government hospitals in the Capital are also reeling under acute shortage of beds. The Delhi government had planned to double up the number of beds from 10,000 to 20,000 by December 2017 but nothing has been done so far.”The situation is same in almost all the hospitals. Not only the beds, but the hospitals are also facing a shortage of doctors and other paramedical staff. It is high time that the government improves the overall healthcare system,” said Dr Vivek Chouksey, president, Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA).RML, which is the largest hospital after the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), witnesses around 7,000 to 8,000 patients daily in its Out Patient Department (OPD), and more than 1,000 patients in its emergency ward.The total number of beds at RML is 1,447.”54 patients occupied a single bed this year. This is not the total figure,” said Dr VK Tiwari, medical superintendent, RML Hospital.Patients visiting the hospital also complained about the issue saying it causes inconvenience to them.”It is almost impossible to get a bed here. We have been waiting for more than a month, but the waiting line is still the same. Doctors say they will first treat the emergency patients and then move on to others,” said Lakhbir Singh, a patient outside RML. Singh hails from Rajasthan and has been sitting here for more than a month with his wife for treatment.According to the data shared by the minister, the bed-to-patient ratio for the RML in 2015 and 2016 was 1:52 and 1:54.5, respectively. The corresponding figure for Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC) for the two years was 1:07 and 1:06, respectively while for Safdarjung Hospital, the ratio was 1:2 for both the years, it said.

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Hospitals face acute shortage of beds, staff: Doctors