Ludhiana civil hospital paediatric ward grappling with staff shortageUpdated: Dec 18, 2019 22:22 IST
The state government is in the process of augmenting healthcare services by setting up nine more mother and child health centres at Moga, Tarn Taran, Fatehgarh Churian, Bham, Samana, Khanna, Sangrur, Malerkotla and Nakodar, but its centre at the civil hospital here is grappling with staff shortage and has been under pressure to provide quality service.
The centre has only three paediatricians against eight sanctioned posts. However,one of them proceeded on maternity leave on Monday. With a footfall of over 200 patients in the out-patients department (OPD) of the centre, and attending emergency services and looking after admitted patients, it has been a daunting task for two paediatricians to perform all the duties.
“Many a time, after working from 9am to 3pm in the OPD, we are called to the emergency ward. We are always on the call, all of our staff is overworked and overburdened,” said a staff member, requesting anonymity.
“In the past years, some paediatricians, who were promoted, have moved to some other centres while others have taken premature retirement, but the government has not taken steps to fill the vacant posts,” a paediatrician said.
Waiting in a queue at the OPD for long is also an uphill task for women carrying small children, who, sometimes do not stop crying. “My six-month-old son is continuously crying and it is difficult to stand in the queue for long. Doctors here are really good, but it would have been better if women carrying newborns are not made to wait for hours,” said Ria, a resident of Haibowal.
“Not just doctors, even the lower staff members are overburdened with work. The administration has been aware of the situation for a long time, but no steps are being taken to fill vacancies,” said a staff member.
“The hospital has been facing a shortage of paediatricians for the past many years. After one paediatrician Dr Renu Gupta proceeding on maternity leave this week, we are left with only two paediatricians Dr Hapreet Singh and Dr Harjit Singh. We have temporarily arranged three paediatricians for emergency services from other hospitals,” said senior medical officer Dr Avinash Jindal.
As a temporary measure, Dr Sunita Sahdev (Jagraon), Dr Amita Arora (Khanna) and Dr Tarakjot Singh (Samrala) have been assigned emergency services in the centre here, he added.