THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The mission of health minister VS Sivakumar to offer 24-hour service in all the community health centres in his home district has hit a roadblock due to the shortage of doctors.
The district health administration has been depending on the contractual appointments made by national rural health mission (NRHM) for offering round-the-clock service at the community health centres. However, now the NRHM itself is facing difficulty to find doctors on contract basis.
"We are unable to get MBBS doctors even after repeated advertisements. Last time when we advertised only seven doctors had turn up for the interview," district programme manager of NRHM Dr Unnikrishnan said.
The NRHM has advertised three times for the walk-in interview of doctors to offer 24-hour service in 17 CHCs in the district. The major problem faced by the health administration is the fact that
Due to shortage of doctors, they are unable to offer the service of doctors in the afternoon and night shifts.
Even when the authorities were claim that they offer round-the-clock service, they were totally depended on the contractual doctors to fulfill it. "For offering 24-hour service we need at least eight doctors in one hospital. However, we could find only five doctors in each hospital of which two were contractual doctors appointed under NRHM," said the DPM.
Of the contractual doctors, one each has been put on afternoon and night shifts. Now, after the post graduate results have announced, a few of the doctors who got selection have left the service. However, more doctors have quit for preparing for the PG entrance examination. "We will get contractual doctors only between January and May. From June they start preparing for the examination," said Dr Unnikrishnan.
The health department is following the staff pattern created in 1968 and no revision of this has done even though the patient strength has increased in all hospitals. Now, in most of the CHCs in the district there are no doctors to provide treatment after 1pm.
The district had over 150 contractual doctors offering services in various hospitals, which have now gone below 100.
Doctors interested in joining on contractual basis shall walk-in for an interview between 10am and 5pm on any working day to the district programme manager office of NRHM at Thycaud or contact: 0471-2321288.