20% posts lying vacant at PGI, patient care takes a hit | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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20% posts lying vacant at PGI, patient care takes a hit

With nearly 20% posts of doctors besides nursing, technical and other staff lying vacant at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), patient care at the region’s premier health facility has taken a hit.  

punjab Updated: Mar 29, 2017 14:09 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
There should be one nurse for a patient in the intensive care unit of PGIMER. At times, the institute has one nurse looking after three-four patients in the ICU.
There should be one nurse for a patient in the intensive care unit of PGIMER. At times, the institute has one nurse looking after three-four patients in the ICU.(HT Photo)

With nearly 20% posts of doctors besides nursing, technical and other staff lying vacant at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), patient care at the region’s premier health facility has taken a hit.  

The issue of staff shortage was highlighted in the department of health and family welfare’s report presented in the Rajya Sabha on March 20.

“On a query regarding vacancies against the sanctioned strength, the committee observed that nearly 20% seats are vacant at the institute. Of of a total of 8,771 sanctioned posts in various categories, 1,616 are lying vacant,” states the report. 

“The committee strongly recommends that the department should undertake a time-bound exercise to fill the vacancies of medical, paramedical, nursing and technical staff,” it said. The committee said with increasing automation, there is a possibility of reduction in the requirement of administrative staff and the resources can be channelised in favour of paramedical or technical staff. 

According to data obtained by HT, 1,748 posts of 7,544 sanctioned strength are lying vacant at PGIMER. Of the 555 sanctioned posts of doctors — from assistant professor to professor — 138 are lying vacant.

As many as 88 posts of senior and junior resident doctors (pursuing postgraduation and super-specialty) are also vacant.

There is a shortage of nearly 300 nurses in different categories. For instance, 179 posts of nursing officers, 70 posts of assistant nursing superintendents, 11 of senior nursing officers and others are lying vacant.

More than 100 posts in the sanitation department are lying vacant.

Patients at the receiving end

The staff shortage is resulting in waiting period for surgeries that may go up to several months. Besides, one has to wait for hours to get a simple registration slip. Recently, HT had highlighted how eight operation theatres (OTs) are lying locked at the institute mainly due to staff shortage.

“We have proposed to the PGIMER director that we need at least 82 more anaesthetists, 75 technicians, six perfusionists and more staff in nursing department for efficiency,” said a senior doctor.

“There should be one nurse for a patient in the intensive care unit (ICU). But at times, we have just one nurse looking after three-four patients in the ICU,” said another official.

Nearly 8,000 patients visit PGIMER’s new OPD (out-patient department) daily, and nearly 2 lakh new patients are added in the list every year.

To deal with the situation, former officiating director Dr Subhash Varma had started the process of recruiting staff twice a year.

Amitabh Avasthi, deputy director (administration), PGIMER, said, “Recruitment is an ongoing process. We are filling posts on a regular basis. Now, we have started the process of filling faculty posts twice a year. Apart from this, PGIMER has also demanded creation of new posts in different categories.”