In Palike facilities, things aren't very different

In Palike facilities, things aren't very different

The health department of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is apparently in a state of paralysis with only 78 doctors to cater to 94 hospitals.

A senior functionary in the Palike’s health department, requesting anonymity, said that against the requirement of 140 doctors, the Palike was currently managing with 78 doctors, 40 of whom are permanent. The 94 BBMP hospitals include 24 maternity homes, 19 Urban Family Welfare Centres, 16 dispensaries and 29 health centres.

The painful aspect of the entire situation is that the BBMP and government-run hospitals are considered to be at the service of the poor who cannot afford treatment in private hospitals.

According to Palike sources, in December last, 96,333 patients came to BBMP hospitals for treatment, unaware that these health centres were themselves ailing. The sources also claim that in 2010-11, about 43 lakh patients were treated at the Palike hospitals.

While an acute shortage of staff has been dogging the Palike hospitals, the only consolation is that BBMP health centres have 23 gynaecologists for 24 maternity homes.

The only maternity home without a gynaecologist is at Manvarthpet. A maternity home at Bhyraveshwara Nagar portrays the poor state of affairs of the Palike’s health department.

With a sprawling garden and a grand two-storey building, the maternity home is no match to private nursing homes. But the staff working there know the truth behind the grandeur.

With acute staff crunch, two doctors and four paramedics posted there are running the hospital. People working there said at least two more doctors and six paramedics were urgently required to run the 20-bed hospital smoothly.

The situation in Palike’s health centres was not all that bad till a government order directed the BBMP to repatriate all the doctors deputed in its hospitals.

Udayashankar, leader of the Opposition in the Palike, flayed the BBMP administration for failing to provide basic healthcare facilities to poor people.

“Only people from the economically weaker sections go to the BBMP-run hospitals as they cannot afford private nursing homes. The government and the Palike are duty-bound to provide healthcare services to the poor,” said Udayashankar.

Repatriation

Udayashankar expressed his dismay over the government order to repatriate doctors from the Palike to their parent departments.

“It is shocking the way the government hurriedly repatriated doctors to their parent departments while it never called back the corrupt public works department engineers,” Udayashankar said. He demanded that the Palike conduct interviews and appoint doctors without delay.

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