The NRHM office in Ranchi
Ranchi, Oct. 18: Health minister Rajendra Prasad Singh, during a review meeting today at Project Building, hauled up civil surgeons of six districts for their “miserable failure” to execute National Rural Health Mission schemes.
Coming down heavily on civil surgeons of Palamau, Pakur, Sahebganj, Chatra, Simdega and Garhwa, the minister said: “I don’t need such civil surgeons. I asked my department secretary to remove them.”
This means principal health secretary B.K. Tripathy will immediately issue showcause notices to the six. Depending on the findings of an inquiry, the six will be transferred, suspended or sacked.
Overall, Singh expressed strong disapproval of the way rural health mission was being executed in the state.
“Against the availability of Rs 715 crore, barely 15 per cent has so far been utilised. Civil surgeons are responsible for smooth execution of schemes and proper utilisation of funds. Such lapses can’t be tolerated,” he said.
The review meeting rated Palamu, Chatra, Pakur, Garhwa and Simdega as the worst performers. Residents of these districts hardly availed health benefits such as Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram, institutional delivery, child immunisation and others. Most came all the way to Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS).
Singh also ordered the suspension of two doctors and a storekeeper in Ranchi district for storing medicines past their expiry date.
For more transparency, the minister said the proceedings of forthcoming health camps would be recorded on video. “I am not satisfied with the health camps held across the state on September 2,” he said.
He added whitewash and repair of state-run hospital buildings, beds, health centres, dispensaries and medical colleges would be over by Diwali.
He promised setting up blood banks and burns wards “very soon” across the state. “There is no scarcity of funds. Global tenders will be floated to equip burns wards. Blood banks will be equipped with latest technologies,” he added.
The minister added he was disappointed to learn from elected panchayat representatives and MLAs that in many places, infrastructure was ready but civil surgeons sat idle. In other places, contractors left work midway. “We will blacklist them,” he said.
The minister noted many primary and community health centres operated out of dilapidated buildings though new infrastructure was ready.
He directed principal secretary Tripathy procure lists within three days from all civil surgeons on completed and under-construction buildings and issued a fiat across districts to shift to new infrastructure within a week. “Mujhe sthiti sudharna aata hai (I know how to mend the situation),” he said.
He added he was doing all he could to motivate health employees. “The proposal to hike monthly wages of paramedics from Rs 7,000 to Rs 10,000 is approved. We are mulling to raise the retirement age of AYUSH doctors from 60 to 65 years,” he said.