Employees State Insurance (ESI) Hospital in Jalandhar is facing an acute shortage of staff for the past one year despite repeated demands to the higher authorities in this regard.
This is affecting patient care services besides overburdening the existing staff at the hospital.
Even as ESI scheme is available in the city, patients are forced to go to other private hospitals even for primary healthcare as the district ESI hospital and six dispensaries in Jalandhar are reeling under shortage of doctors and paramedical staff.
It has been learned that posts of eight doctors, two pharmacists, one radiographer, one operation theatre assistant, 16 staff nurses and over 35 Class-4 employees are lying vacant at the ESI Hospital.
The post of an operation theatre assistant and driver is lying vacant for one year.
Moreover, the hospital does not have latest equipment for treatment for two years and the doctors have left with no other option but to use old apparatus for treating patients.
Sources said the major reason behind the shortage of funds is the tussle between Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), a central government body, and the state health department as both are making excuses and washing their hands off responsibility.
An average 350 patients visit the outdoor-patient department (OPD) of the hospital daily.
A senior doctor at the hospital said due to the negligence of the state and the central government they were facing difficulty in providing proper treatment to patients.
He said this was the reason why most of the patients were being referred to the civil hospital as they do not have latest equipment at the hospital.
Sources said the situation at the hospital premises turns worse when the staff is assigned additional duties at the ESI dispensaries which too are facing staff shortage.
The hospital has one ambulance which is not functioning for the past one year since there is no driver to run the vehicle. There is no transport facility for patients.
ESI medical superintendent RK Gupta said, “The hospital does not have adequate staff due to which health services are getting affected.
We have written several times in past months about the problems being faced by the public. We asked for adequate staff and funds, but to no avail.”