‘Fill vacant doctors post soon’: Bihar CM directs officials as Covid-19 cases rise
As Bihar reported 12,359 fresh Covid-19 cases, chief minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday directed the health officials to complete the procedure of regular appointment of doctors and paramedic staff on priority.
“The state has a sanctioned strength of 13,500 doctors (approximately) and is facing acute shortage of paramedical staff like OT assistants, laboratory assistants, ANM, x-ray technicians, ultrasound technicians, ventilator assistants, data operators, etc., in 700-odd hospitals of the state,” Bihar Health Services Association (BHSA) general secretary Dr Ranjeet Kumar said, adding that nearly 30-40% of the posts in the state, both of doctors and paramedical staff, are lying vacant.
He asked the officials to fill the vacant medical and paramedical posts in every district through walk-in interviews.
The chief minister, who held a high-level meeting in the wake of a shortage of doctors for the treatment of Covid-19 and other patients, asked the officials to ensure that vacant posts are immediately filled.
As per people aware of the development, there are 4,133 ANM vacancies against sanctioned posts of 9,130 in Bihar while there is a shortage of 2,000-odd medical members against 4,000 sanctioned posts.
With Covid-19 cases increasing day by day, the state is feeling the need for doctors as more than 500 doctors and health workers of the two leading hospitals in Patna - AIIMS and Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) - have been infected with Covid-19 during the ongoing second wave, according to agency reports.
Altogether, 384 employees of AIIMS Patna, including doctors, nurses, sanitation workers, have been infected during the second wave so far, medical superintendent CM Singh told a news agency.
“The situation is the same in medical colleges which are functioning on half the teaching strength. Of the 4,000 teaching posts, nearly 50% are vacant,” said Dr Ajay Kumar, senior vice-president of the Indian Medical Association, Bihar.
The IMA, Bihar chapter, wrote a letter to the chief minister on Friday asking him to appoint doctors as an emergency measure. “There is a provision of quick appointment of doctors and others in epidemic time. All such people who are ready to join can be recruited on contract on different posts by appointments under epidemic provisions removing all obstacles,” said Dr Kumar.
“This war needs a big army of doctors, paramedics, nurses and support staff more than what we need in normal times. Situation if not corrected can be disastrous,” the IMA said in the letter.
Dr Kumar said that doctors and health care workers (HCWs) are continuously working for the last 14 months without any leave. “They are exhausted and need some rest on intervals. More than 15% of them are infected. Many have died. It is the demand of time in the public interest,” said Kumar.
The state reported 77 deaths in the last 24 hours while the active cases climbed to 81,960. “Seven districts, including Patna, Gaya, Bhagalpur, Aurangabad, Saran, Nalanda and Begusarai, reported more than 500 positive cases on Friday,” said Manoj Kumar, executive director, State Health Society.