Anjali Thakor (42) of Gandhinagar has been camping with four other women outside the 1,200-bed Ahmedabad Civil Hospital to see her devar (brother-in-law) following his kidney stone surgery. For these women, the wait is nothing compared to the difficulty of finding a toilet to relieve themselves.
Only two attendants are permitted inside the hospital with the patients, with the rest required to remain outside the hospital building on campus.
“There is not a single toilet outside the hospital building. Only two attendants are allowed inside at a time, so the rest of us have to wait. There have been times when I’ve had to wait for several hours holding my urge to relieve myself,” says Thakor.
To address such difficulties faced by the relatives of the patients, the ACH authorities are building an 840-bed rain basera (shelter home) on the campus, at a cost of Rs 40 crore, to be completed in 12 months.
ACH superintendent Dr Rakesh Joshi says, “The two relatives with the patients have access to the toilets inside the wards or those inside the hospital buildings. We hope to resolve the issue soon with an 840-bedded rain basera (shelter home) for accommodating relatives of patients… it should be ready within a year.”
Joshi added that standalone toilets outside the hospital buildings would be difficult to maintain and would be rendered unusable eventually.
The Medicity Campus, where ACH is situated along with several other superspeciality health units, has a capacity of 7,400 beds but has only an 80-bed shelter available for relatives. The 840-bed new shelter with a basement floor, ground floor and eight floors above will have a built-up area of 24,436 square metres in three blocks.
It will have a canteen on the ground floor with 280 seats and space for eight shops. 58 four-wheelers and 91 two-wheelers can be parked in the basement.
The Gujarat government has budgeted Rs 10 crore for the shelter’s construction this year, Rs 5 crore in 2022-23, and Rs 7.5 crore in 2021-22, according to Joshi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the shelter home on October 6, 2022, while inaugurating a slew of projects at Medicity.