Y.S. RANA, CHANDIGARH—The Civil Block Hospital Sector-22 provides secondary level healthcare services to approximately five lakh population of adjoining sectors and villages of Chandigarh with all medical specialists and 24×7 emergency and labour room delivery services. For more than a year, the shortage of specialists in various disciplines is taking its toll on health care services in the hospital.
Recently, a letter has been written to the Chandigarh Administration by the hospital authorities urging therein for posting of medical specialist; specialists in surgery; skin; ENT; gynecology; Pediatrics; radiologist; anesthetist; emergency medical officer as per Indian Public Health Standard (IPHS) and medical officers under various national health programme. Sources in the hospital revealed that specialists were posted at GMSH-16 to overcome the shortage there. These posts have been sanctioned during the 5th Five Year Plan (1980-85), added the official.
Since then the civil hospital-22 was facing acute shortage of specialists, said the source. “Not even single replacement has been provided to them while these are sanctioned posts. There is an urgent need of specialists to provide available effective health services to the patients,” said the sources.
The letter further stated that in absence of regular posting of specialists, secondary level healthcare services were not provided to the patients and senior citizens. Treatment and medical services provided under the TB Programme; National Aids control programme; national mental health programme; national vector borne disease control programme have been suffering, stated the letter. “The maternal and child health centre is not able to provide 24 hours services and secondary level health care services to pregnant mother and new born neonates and children have been disrupted,” says the letter.
Sources also revealed that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GOI, New Delhi has decided to upgrade the 30-bed maternal and child heath centre to 50-bed and 20-bed for general ward to provide comprehensive reproductive; maternal; newborn and child health (RMNCH) services under IPHS Guidelines for Community Health Centres (Revised 2012) by the Directorate General of Health Services.
In case of ultrasound the patient either has to go to GMSH-16 or get it done from private hospital. Since the hospital is centrally located, it is easily accessible and caters the healthcare needs of five lakh population especially of Southern sectors of Chandigarh and helped contain over-crowding in the emergency wards at PGI, GMSH-16.
On anonymity, a senior official of Chandigarh Administration confirming shortage of specialists said, ”The Chandigarh Administration has sent a proposal for creation of posts of over 100 doctors and 40 specialists lying pending with the ministry of health and family welfare and the patients in the city hospital bear brunt of staff crunch.” Besides, proposal to create posts of senior residents and para medical staff in GMCH-32 and GMSH-16 also waited the nod of the central government, he said.
On the other, the Administrator to the UT had expressed concern over the growing gaps in the requisite healthcare services in the city’s hospitals due to the increased load on health care infrastructure from neighbouring States—Punjab and Haryana. More than 16 lakh outdoor patients came to hospitals majority of them are from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
Certainly, the matter needs immediate address from the higher authorities and to come to the rescue of poor patients.