Staff shortage may hit work in health department

Staff shortage may hit work in health department

Even though the district has achieved progress in health sector, the Health Department still faces a shortage of around 50 % health assistants, who play a major role in implementing government health programmes.

The government sanctioned 929 posts for the district, including senior and junior health assistants based on census-2011. Out of this, only 604 posts have been filled and 325 positions are vacant.

Out of 552 junior female assistants, 379 positions have been filled and of 245 junior male health assistants, only 128 are filled.

Similarly, 18 senior female and 17 senior male health assistant positions are lying vacant. Besides, 17 out of 76 posts sanctioned under National Health Mission (NHM), are also vacant.

As per the norms, the number of posts is sanctioned based on the population rate. The existing posts were sanctioned based on 2011 census.

According to the officials of the Health Department, the district needs at least 1,200 health assistants. With only around 600 posts filled, the district is facing  50% shortage.

The posts of junior assistants have been lying vacant for many years and the state government has not taken any steps to fill the vacancies. Besides, a few posts fall vacant due to transfer and retirement.

The health assistants play a dominant role in implementing various programmes of the health department and administering primary treatment to the patients.

The Union, as well as the State government take the help of the assistants in implementing more than 35 health programmes. As a large number of posts are lying vacant, the existing assistants are under heavy workload and the possibilities of delayed treatment or care are high.

However, the district has achieved success in the health sector, despite the shortage of health workers. While the cases of Vector-borne diseases are on the rise in neighbouring district, the number of cases has declined in Mysuru district, compared to previous years.

The district also faces a shortage of doctors. An officer in the Health Department said that the authorities have sent several proposals to the government recommending to sanction additional assistants posts which is yet to be considered.