The Telegraph
Monday , December 3 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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BMC clinics reel from staff shortage

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 2: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), which plans to set up a 250-bed state-of-the-art hospital in public-private partnership mode for Rs 100 crore, is battling acute shortage of doctors at its medical facilities.

At present, 10 posts of allopathic doctors are lying vacant in the five dispensaries and one 108-bed hospital run by the corporation, while its 11 homoeopathic dispensaries within urban limits have only six doctors.

Sources in the corporation said that posts of 11 homeopathic assistants were also lying vacant. “We cannot run these dispensaries on a daily basis for want of doctors. At present, we can manage them only on alternate days,” said a corporation official.

To make things worse, the orthopaedic, radiology, ear-nose-throat and pathology departments at the BMC Hospital hardly function because of staff crunch. The anaesthesia department, which has only one contractual doctor, doesn’t function in his absence.

“Last year, the contractual anaesthetist went on a month’s leave. During the entire period, the operation theatre had to remain closed,” said an employee of the hospital. The BMC Hospital and five allopathic dispensaries together cater to the needs of about 1,000 people everyday, while about 500 people visit the city’s 11 homoeopathic dispensaries on a daily basis.

The five allopathic dispensaries are located at Bharatpur, Gadakana, GGP Colony, Brahmeswarpatna and Kapila Prasad. Sources in the BMC Hospital said that they had written several letters to higher authorities for filling up the vacant posts, but nothing had happened so far. Staff nurses, technicians and pharmacists, whose jobs have been outsourced, are taking on the onus to run the hospital.

The chief municipal medical officer, however, said that he was doing his best to fill up the vacant posts in all the healthcare centres under the corporation.

“A proposal has been approved to fill up the vacant posts and the approval has been sent to the housing and urban development department to appoint doctors,” said chief municipal medical officer Dinabandhu Sahoo.

The corporation has recently proposed to set up a modern hospital at Gadakana. It has also sought five acres for building the 250-bed hospital.

City residents, however, feel that instead of setting up a new hospital, the corporation should focus more on strengthening its existing healthcare facilities.

“Every time you visit a homoeopathic dispensary, you have to return home without getting treatment because of the lack of specialised doctors there. The municipality hospital is also reeling from shortage of doctors. The corporation should immediately fill up the vacant doctors’ posts,” said Mayadhar Pradhan, a resident of Kapila Prasad.