The state health department on Tuesday ordered an inquiry and got a status report on the working of governmentrun hospitals, following HT’s report on the deplorable condition of public hospitals in Satara, published in the July 1 edition.
The department also initiated proceedings to terminate contracts with doctors from Karad’s sub-district hospital (SDH), who have not turned up for work for years now.
“We can’t recruit new doctors as the posts are blocked by the absconding doctors,” Suresh Shetty, state health minister said. “As per our records, a gynaecologist, physician and radiologist at Karad’s SDH hospital have been absconding for two to three years.”
In order to address the shortage of specialist doctors, the department announced plans to fill 1,900 posts of medical officers across Maharashtra.
Dr Archana Patil, director of the state directorate of health services who submitted the status report, said “We have transferred a physician from a primary health centre to the sub-district hospital. She will join immediately.
Also, two gynaecologists have been appointed on contract basis. We have decided to have a panel of orthopaedic surgeons who will visit Karad SDH regularly.”
HT’s report had pointed out that at least 18 types of high-end medical equipment, including computerised ECG, sonography machines and ventilators, were lying mostly unused as there were no doctors and technicians to operate them.
“To solve the problem of unavailability of radiologists [to use ultrasound machines], we have identified two hospitals in Satara where a public-private partnership model will be started by September so that imaging diagnostics are available,” Shetty said.
In the absence of specialists, patients from rural Maharashtra are being forced to travel to cities even for basic surgeries and diagnosis.
“To attract doctors to work in rural hospitals, specialists having a diploma will receive three additional increments, while those with post-graduation degree will get six additional increments,” Shetty said.