Hospitals not in healthy state in Kodagu district

Shortage of doctors leaves patients in problem

Though Primary and Community Health Centres situated at various parts of the district are well equipped with considerably good infrastructure facilities including the hospital building, medical equipment and medicines, shortage of doctors is smothering most of the hospitals.

Kodagu district, which has considerably high number of daily wage labourers working in the coffee plantations, needs government hospitals and health centres the most. The poor labourers who cannot afford to go to the private hospitals are dependent on Primary Health Centers (PHCs) and Community Health Centers (CHCs).

Kodagu district accommodates 30 PHCs, six CHCs, 195 health clinics, two taluk hospitals and district hospital. Out of 27 posts of the specialists, only 11 are working in the district while remaining are vacant, which means there is 50 per cent shortage of doctors. The district is facing severe shortage of paediatrician, gynaecologist, orthopaedic, anaesthesist and dermatologist.

Bhagamandala, Hudikeri, Madapura, Halur, Siddhapura, Napoklu PHCs too are running short of doctors. Though there are two posts each in all the PHC, the above PHCs are having only one doctor in their centres. The three posts of Taluk Medical Officers too are lying vacant. There is also dearth of junior women health assistants.

Problems

The shortage of district level officers to implement the government sponsored health programmes has led to the delay in implementation of the programmes. Though four officers’ posts have been sanctioned for the district, only one post is filled so far, thus making it difficult to implement the programmes.

One of the doctors, who did not wish to be named, said that the doctors who are working in the district at present are forced to work under immense pressure. The pressure from Gram Panchayat and Zilla Panchayat members on us is making us lose our confidence. Even the doctors who are working in private hospitals are not prone to so much pressure. Looking at this scenario we feel like quitting government job, said the doctor.

Nine posts of the specialised doctors in the district hospital are vacant. They include cardiologist, gynaecologist, forensic expert, paediatrician, orthopaedic, general medicine and dermatologist. Among four posts of gynaecologists, only one post is filled.

About 200-250 patients visit the hospital everyday, but they are posed to trouble due to lack of doctors. The civilians are demanding for the establishment of a government medical college in the district, which would solve half the problem.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, District Medical Officer Dr Shivakumar said that initiatives will be taken at the Government and district level to fill the vacant posts. The district administration has the provisions to appoint retired doctors in the district under National Rural Health Mission. Under this, interview letters were sent to eight doctors last month. However only two responded and are currently working, he informed.

He hopes the district would get junior women health assistants soon as the government has short-listed 1,000 candidates for posting across the state. Things would definitely improve if a few assistants are recruited in Kodagu, he opined

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