Lack of employees hits Ayush clinic services in Chandigarh
19 doctors manage 26 government homeopathic dispensaries in the cityUpdated: Sep 12, 2019 00:24 IST
The dearth of staff has hit the functioning of Ayush (Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha Homoeopathy, Naturopathy) dispensaries in Chandigarh.
Owing to employee crunch, a few dispensaries remain shut for three days a week.
To add to the misery, patients who visit to consult with a homoeopathic doctor at the government dispensaries either have to wait for long hours or have to leave untreated.
Recently, assistant director (homeopathy) Dr Manju Shree, who was posted at the Government Homeopathic Dispensary (GHD), Sector 35 was given the charge to look after implementation of National Ayush Mission in Chandigarh.
A practitioner under Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) was posted in her place.The medical official in turn is supposed to visit the city schools every day for early identification of diseases and thus, the doctor remains available for only two hours instead of the mandatory six hours.
There is only one doctor against two dispensaries. Also, the doctor has to do the administrative work associated with the functioning of the department. In Sector 47’s GHD, a single doctor manages two dispensaries at Sector 47 and 16. The said doctor visits both dispensaries on alternate days. Also, the GHD at Sector 45 and 37 is managed by a single doctor.
The Chandigarh health department runs around 26 outpatient departments, however, there are only 19 doctors to run the clinics. The dispensary situated in Sector 27 sees over 150 patients everyday while on an average, around 60-80 patients visit the other city clinics daily.
“A few doctors have to see the implementation of other health schemes, few have to look after the medicine supply, while others have official meetings to attend. All this affects the patient care,” said a senior medical officer pleading anonymity.
“Most of the times, the dispensaries remain shut. This impacts the patient influx. Also, the associated pharmacists have to go to other OPDs, so, there is a shortage of them as well, ” said the official.
THE PACKAGING ISSUE
A patient visiting a GHD complained that the pharmacist touches the tablets which are supposed to be provided in a paper envelope or a plastic bottle.
Regarding the packaging of the medicines, a medical official said that medicines are now provided in cartons as they are procured through the Government e Market place (GeM) portal, while earlier, they were provided in plastic bottles.
A senior officer said, “Proposals have been sent to the central government to provide more doctors in the city. Presently, the UT health department has seven homoeopathy and seven Ayurvedic and one Unani doctor.”
“A proposal to provide four homeopathy and three Ayurvedic doctors is already pending with union government,” the officer said.
Accepting that there is staff crunch, director AYUSH, Chandigarh, Dr G Dewan, said, “Homoeopathic treatment is slow. There is no urgency like in emergency departments of the hospitals. The patients are taken care of when they visit these clinics.”