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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 232-233

Overcrowding in Teaching Hospitals. Time for Policy Makers to Ponder Upon Residents’ Health

Department of Surgical Disciplines, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, India

Date of Submission08-Jul-2020
Date of Acceptance25-Aug-2020
Date of Web Publication16-Dec-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vaibhav Aggarwal
G-367, Preet Vihar, Delhi-110092
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mamcjms.mamcjms_72_20

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How to cite this article:
Aggarwal V. Overcrowding in Teaching Hospitals. Time for Policy Makers to Ponder Upon Residents’ Health. MAMC J Med Sci 2020;6:232-3

How to cite this URL:
Aggarwal V. Overcrowding in Teaching Hospitals. Time for Policy Makers to Ponder Upon Residents’ Health. MAMC J Med Sci [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Apr 13];6:232-3. Available from: https://www.mamcjms.in/text.asp?2020/6/3/232/303596

Dear Editor

Reports of decreased residents’ physical or mental well-being are of global concern. Chronic stress or illness at work has been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, decreased immunity, and depression.[1] Majority of low/middle-income countries today are struggling with their health infrastructure. This leads to overcrowding especially at state owned hospitals causing burnout, decreased mental health, increased working hours, and sleep deprivation. Here I intend to discuss the work-related stress on residents and the way forward.

There are unique challenges of working in these institutions. Residents here manage a vast variety of medical illnesses, but at the cost of long working hours demanding physical and mental endurance. Seeing a never-ending queue of patients, those noisy hospital wards, and corridors may lead to fatigue and emotional breakdown. Lack of adequate space compromises both patients’ and doctors’ privacy and increases the risk of cross contamination. Moreover, increased patient flow eats up most of the time available to a resident in completing paperwork rather than meaningful learning. Rising violence against doctors, particularly due to long waiting times and insufficient resources for even lifesaving interventions adds another layer of fear and insecurity.

We must act now. There is a pressing need to massively expand the medical institutions of the low/middle-income countries. Digitizing health has shown positive outcomes[2] and should be prioritized. Healthcare start-ups will play an important role by coming up with innovative digital technologies in education and efficient patient care. Big data healthcare research should be promoted. Majority of the paperwork could be outsourced so that residents can devote the saved time in self-care and learning. Well-developed referral system from primary to tertiary levels of health care is needed. Recruiting adequate staff at all levels of training and streamlining the current slow and sporadic process of appointment of doctors in state owned institutions is required. Job insecurities of medical officers need to be addressed. Providing adequate incentives to doctors working in rural government health centers will ensure that they are adequately staffed. Stricter laws against those assaulting doctors and proper security systems are required. Modernizing all existing hospitals in terms of imaging and treatment facilities may reduce unnecessary patient referrals and deaths. Good health insurance coverage is needed, so that a proportion of patients can be channelled to the private sector.

It is important to realize that residents are the backbone of any teaching hospital and their good health translates to good health of patients treated under them.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

McClafferty H, Brown OW, S. on I. Medicine, and C. on P. and A. Medicine. Physician health and wellness. Pediatrics 2014;134:830-5.  Back to cited text no. 1
Jandoo T. WHO guidance for digital health: what it means for researchers. Digit Health 2020;6:2055207619898984.  Back to cited text no. 2


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