New Delhi: If you are planning to undergo
surgery at Safdarjung hospital, the country`s largest, be
prepared for at least a three-month wait.
Increasing patient rush and insufficient infrastructure
are making things difficult for the hospital which accepted
that waiting period in different surgical departments is
varying between three to six months.
According to official data, anyone going for a major
operation in the paediatric surgery department for ailments
like ectopia cordis, a birth defect in which the heart is
abnormally located, will have to wait for at least three
months whereas for a minor procedure it may extend to four to
Similarly, in the department of Urology the waiting
period for any procedure was five months as on January 01 last
year but it reduced to three months on December 01, 2009.
The plastic surgery and burns department also takes
about three to six months to perform any plastic or
One of the Chief Medical Officers of the hospital Dr
Sitalakshmi blamed mismatch between patient load and available
infrastructure for the waiting period.
Replying to a Right to Information application filed
by a Mumbai-based activist Ajay Marathe, Sitalakshmi admitted
that the hospital does have a waiting period for surgical
"If the number of patients to undergo surgery is 48 and
the number of OT table with the hospital is only six, then
the waiting period arises. The tables should be increased to
atleast 40 to give way to the waiting period," Sitalakshmi
According to data provided by the hospital, 84,920
surgeries were performed during the year 2009 which
averages to over 232 major and minor surgeries per day.
There is a need for more hospitals in neighbouring
states and periphery regions of NCR to ease the rush of
patients here, said one of the officials.