The Bihar State Health Services Association (BSHSA) executive committee on Sunday called for a major overhaul of the health sector, saying the government plans to pep up the health sector had only delivered partial results.
The health facilities are in full disarray, the infrastructure is failing due to immense pressure, personnel are short and overworked, the drug stock register is short of essential drugs and the overreaching bureaucracy has destroyed the soul of the profession, the members claimed.
The association meeting came out with a draft reform agenda to be submitted to the state. It outlined, that the negativity in the sector was mainly due to killing bureaucratic control, multiplicity of controllers and intervenors and the measured and masterminded control and cutting down of doctors at the helm, including at directorate levels.
The draft agenda said: “The national rural health mission in Bihar has totally failed and remains unimplemented after seven years while medical colleges, sadar hospitals, APHC’s and PHC’s do not meet the prescribed standards. Not even half of NRHM fund of Rs. 5500 crores for Bihar has been used while dilapidated hospitals, failing working environment, unhygienic wards, lack of life saving drugs and ruined equipmentunreplaced-take a heavy toll.
It said,80% of specialists posts are vacant today, there is huge scarcity of medical teachers, there no accommodation for doctors in rural areas either and the huge scarcity of nurses and paramedics have created chaos, which the state has failed to address.
The BSHSA is cut up over the dilution of the health directorate and the non-implementation of departmental resolutions, orders, directions and agreements with various health cadres. “The health advisory committee has never met since its inception in 2008 even as quality of service falls”, the resolution noted.
The BSHSA called for huge revamp of basic infrastructure, application of the population needs standards while planning hospitals, adequate staffing on all posts, creation of new posts in senior cadres, more ward space for patients, accommodation of rural doctors, stocking of life saving and basic drugs, creation of pathological and diagnostic tests infrastructure, replacement of obsolete equipment, regularisation of services of contractual doctors and other staff including dental doctors, equal pay for equal work etc.
It said, Bihar should apply entry level qualification as MBBS+1 year internship to fill posts, implementation of agreements reached with government in 1988, 1989 and 2008 for wage parity, dynamic assured career promotion as per the agreement of 2002, creation of hospital and medical personnel protection force on pattern of Andhra Pradesh and steps for maintaining the dignity of all medical cadres.
Demanding an end to bureaucratic control and interference and declaration of civil surgeons as head of district health society, the BSHSA also demanded posting of doctor couples at the same place, centralised transfer policy, more power to directorate to sanction leaves, postings, promotions and stipulation of duty norms.
The meeting was attended by working president Dr Akhilesh Kumar Singh, general secretary, Dr Ajay Kumar, spokesperson, Dr Ranjit Kumar, treasurer, Dr RK Sinha, Dr Kumar Arun Dr S Kumar, Dr SK Sharma, all secretaries and Dr Dineshwar Singh.
They ratified the general body decision to go on a twoday strike on January 15-16.