50% posts of doctors, pharmacists vacant in Kotkapura civil hospital
Going by the norms set by the health department, the civil hospital at the sub-divisional level at Kotkapura should have the required strength of 14 doctors, but, at present, seven posts of doctors have been lying vacant.
"There are three posts of emergency medical officers (EMOs) in the hospital, but all the posts have been lying vacant for about 2 years and it becomes very difficult to handle emergency cases," claimed sources in the hospital.
"Four posts of pharmacists out of the total six, including the post of chief pharmacist, have also been vacant for about one year," the sources said.
The posts of a skin specialist, a psychiatrist, an eye surgeon and a pediatrician have been sanctioned for the hospital but they are also lying vacant.
Earlier, the hospital had these specialists, but posts were not filled after they were transferred to other hospitals in the state. There is also no full-time radiologist in the hospital.
The hospital has reportedly hired a part-time radiologist to conduct ultrasound scans. He visits the hospital only for 3 hours from 12 am to 3 pm as per his contract, while the patients had to wait for a long time for getting ultrasound scans done," said Devinder Neetu, president of the city club, Kotkapura.
"Due to the shortage of medical officers, not many patients prefer to visit the hospital as they have to wait for long and go to private clinics where they have to spend a lot on treatment. said Devinder.
"On the one hand, the government is claiming to provide better health facilities to the people, but, on the other hand, many posts of specialists and doctors are lying vacant in government hospitals. Many patients cannot afford to visit private clinics, and they depend upon government hospitals only whether they get specialised treatment or not," said Rajinder Singh Jassal, a resident of Kotkapura.
Gaji Ujjair, SMO, could not be contacted despite repeated attempts on his phone on Thursday and Friday. Nor did he respond to the text message sent to him.
"I shall look into the matter and try to make adjustments for posts of specialists. I shall check it up with our SMO concerned as well," said Surinder Kumar, district health officer, who holds the charge of civil surgeon, Faridkot.