Saturday, August 21, 2010

European High Tech Instruments for Polyclinic in Games Village

One more slip-up in Games preparations and one more instance of tax-payers’ money being pumped in to cover up for mistakes.

DDA is spending Rs 1.3 crore in hiring an imported high-tech tent from Europe for the polyclinic at the Games Village after in January this year, Delhi government officials, who are in charge of the equipment and staff there, found to their dismay that the agency had ‘‘forgotten’’ to put drainage and water supply in the second basement of one of the buildings where the polyclinic was originally supposed to be set up. Inspections also showed that an AC duct had been placed in such a way at the entrance that the ambulance could not come in and there was not enough space for the vehicle to be turned. This necessitated urgent revisions in the polyclinic plans which have been in place for about four years now and a decision was taken to import the temporary structure instead.

DDA spokesperson Nemo Dhar confirmed that the aluminum alloy structure, the roof of which is made of fire resistant tensile white fabric, cost Rs 1.3 crore on ‘‘turnkey basis’’ which means the structure will be shipped back after the Games. She, however, said she was not aware of any drainage or water supply issues in the original polyclinic building. ‘‘But all structures are subjected to a feasibility study before being put to actual use,’’ she said.

Delhi government sources say that the discovery that the polyclinic site had no water supply or drainage had come as a shocker after four years of elaborate preparations. ‘‘It is supposed to be a mini-hospital with facilities like OTs, etc. How can one run it without water and drainage. Leave medical facilities, even toilets cannot be constructed there. It is ridiculous how something like this happened in such a crucial project,’’ said a senior Delhi government health official. Sources say the process of calling the tender and finalizing specifications were done at a short notice and adequate enquiries were not made about whether the same structure could be erected by domestic companies that would have kept the costs low.

Doctors associated with the polyclinic also point out that the temporary structure is not suitable for disinfection, etc, as adjacent cubicles do not have a roof. Moreover, there are concerns about the privacy issues of patients as the partitions are makeshift and people in one cubicle cannot help but overhear conversations of those in the other. There is no MRI facility either even though that was one of the specifications given for the polyclinic. Even the minor OT won’t have a separate roof, and there’s no way it can be completely disinfected. Chances of infection will be very high.

If an athlete wants help about STD, there is no way he/she can be assured privacy which is a violation of basic patients’ rights,’’ said a source.

According to DDA’s statement: ‘‘The polyclinic building though being a tent is a full-fledged medical centre for the Games Village with facilities such as x-ray, ultrasound, laboratory, minor OT and insulation chambers for optometrist, ENT specialist, gynecologist, dentist, etc. The building, which is centrally air conditioned, also houses the doping control centre for athletes.’’