Healthcare rejig gets mixed reactions

Healthcare rejig gets mixed reactions

'Chaos will prevail, docs to be burdened'

Healthcare rejig gets mixed reactions

Bringing in multiple heads at a single hospital will lead to chaos in the administrative system and more doctors would get burdened with administrative work, several doctors argued.

The Aam Aadmi Party government’s rejig of the administration of its hospitals announced on Friday drew mixed reactions from doctors.

Some felt that this will help run some departments at Delhi government hospitals more efficiently.

But others said that with city hospitals already stretched beyond capacity, more doctors holding administrative posts would mean they would focus less on clinical work.

Admin responsibilities
In the long run, Delhi government has promised to bring in management professionals to handle administrative responsibilities.

“The government is not focusing on fresh recruits. There is already a shortage of doctors with long patient queues at every hospital.

“The moment a doctor is assigned administrative duties, it is bound to affect his clinical duties. The aim should be to strengthen the staff strength instead,” said a new medical superintendent appointee at an east Delhi government hospital.

Another medical superintendent of a hospital in west Delhi had the same view on the ‘decentralisation’ system.

“It is doubtful if the doctors holding administrative charges will be able to cope with attending to patients as well. The government has promised to bring management professionals in the future.

“But the transition phase is going to be difficult. Also, this system will function well only when there is adequate coordination among the different medical superintendents in one institution.”

‘Define responsibilities’
Another medical superintendent of a tertiary care hospital said the order does not clearly define responsibilities.

“I am not really sure of the role under the new order. Assigning multiple administrative charges also means removing me from my core area of specialisation,” said the doctor, requesting anonymity.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the doctors will not be absorbed in paperwork as the government has already put the Central Procurement Agency (CPA) in place through which medicines and equipment are being procured centrally.

“Currently, at least 30 per cent of their workload is administration-related. This will soon change. With additional charges, each head will be able to focus better on each department,” said Jain.

Some doctors, however, felt the new system will strengthen the healthcare facilities in the capital.

‘Share workload’
“Assigning more than one medical superintendent means I will get to work with people with more expertise. It will help share the workload as well,” said Dr Punita Mahajan, who has been appointed as the medical director at Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital.

Dr Sangeeta Basu, who has been appointed as the medical superintendent for maternity and child healthcare at Rao Tula Ram Hospital, said this will help her give a boost to the department at the hospital located on the periphery of Delhi.

Staff shortage
“There is an acute shortage of resident doctors in this department. With the process being streamlined now, the individual head can now take the initiative in strengthening the departments which deserve more attention,” she said.

“My primary focus will be to coordinate with other hospitals so that more resident doctors are sent to hospitals like ours in the periphery of Delhi,” Dr Basu said.

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