‘Private doctors should treat patients at government hospitals,’ says Pune doctor
Commissioner, directorate of health services, speaks to Jui Dharwadkar about the various initiatives being undertaken to strengthen hospitals at taluka level and bring improvements in new-natal care clinics.pune Updated: Nov 07, 2017 15:53 IST
Commissioner, directorate of health services, Dr Sanjeev Kumar, was recently in Pune to be a part of the paediatrics conference held in the city. On the sidelines of the conference, Kumar spoke to Jui Dharwadkar about the various initiatives being undertaken to strengthen hospitals at taluka level and bring improvements in new-natal care clinics.
What are the major challenges of the state health department?
Presently, the growing number of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) is a serious issue. Non-Communicable Diseases include cancer, hypertension, heart disease, stroke and diabetes among others. To address this, the department wants to ensure that every person above 30 years of age is screened for these diseases. We have started such clinics in four districts. This will help early diagnosis and early treatment of the patients. By the end of next year, we will also be establishing 500 health wellness clinics at the sub-centre level. It will have an ayurvedic doctor who will guide people towards prevention of NCD.
There have been several cases of neo-natal deaths in the state recently. How does the government aim to reduce these?
The Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) for Maharashtra is 19. So it must be understood that these many deaths are likely in the state. We have started the Sick Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) which is doing its bit. If these were not there, then the deaths would have gone unnoticed. We have plans to strengthen these SNCUs. For this, we are carrying out policy-level modifications at the state government level of SNCU. We are also undertaking capacity building activities like training nurses in specialised skills as their training is most important in providing proper care.
The government is keen on private doctors working for state facilities at the block and taluka level. How are you planning to encourage these doctors and how will that help the patients?
Yes, we want interested doctors working in the city to partner with us and strengthen the medical care being given at the taluka level. For this, the state government will be giving flexible remuneration to doctors who would visit the block level government hospital and provide services there. According to the data available with us, around 4,500 deliveries happen every year at the block level. Many families opt for a private facility. We want these private doctors to come and treat patients at government hospitals. It must be understood that district hospitals are quite far; over three hours away. Hence, many people opt for c-section at private hospitals. It should be noted that at the block level there are roughly 50 caesarean sections (c-sections) every month in private and public sectors collectively. The idea is to have gynecologists at these hospitals come to the block level hospitals that are nearer to the patients.
Has the government initiated such efforts at the taluka level presently?
Yes, we have started this in three talukas in Pune district: at Junnar, Saswad and Baramati. In these hospitals, earlier, c-sections did not happen. Recently in Junnar, between October 24 to October 31, there have been 15 c-sections, and six each in Saswad and Baramati.