ROURKELA: Though Rourkela Government Hospital (RGH), which caters to the healthcare needs of above 12 lakh population, has been given administrative elevation at par with the Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar, it continues to struggle with whopping vacancies of doctors and para-medical staff.RGH is the only hospital in the State after the Capital Hospital having independent administrative power. For its strategic location, RGH caters to the medical needs of Rourkela, Panposh and Bonai sub-divisions and part of Sundargarh sub-division. Poor patients of bordering areas of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand also visit RGH.
In line with the Capital Hospital, the Family Welfare Department through a notification in 2017 had upgraded the post of Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of RGH to Director who would be assisted by a Hospital Superintendent in the rank of Level-1 Additional Director and a Deputy Superintendent.
Nothing much has changed so far with little hope for improvement in near future. The incumbent CMO, Dr RC Behera, was elevated to Health Superintendent and is additionally acting as in-charge Director after the new appointee did not join. Other new posts are also vacant.
Sources said the hospital currently has 32 regular doctors against sanctioned of 69 doctors, while eight doctors have been hired with fat monthly pay funded from District Mineral Foundation (DMF). The actual problem relates to the bed strength not getting enhanced. Against sanctioned strength of 128 beds, the RGH functions with 334 beds, its Outdoor Patients Department (OPD) receives 700-800 patients daily. The hospital handles 850-900 delivery cases including 140-150 caesarian in a month.
Against the requirement of 150 staff nurses for 334 beds, the RGH now manages with 61, while six laboratory technicians are required for 24-hour service, but only one is available. At least five clerks are needed, but there is only one.Infrastructure facilities are gradually improving, but manpower shortage has hit quality of health services. Now, only the OPD of the new 100-bed Mother & Child Hospital is functioning, while neuro surgery cases of the new Trauma Centre is referred to Burla and Cuttack.
Former Congress MLA Pravat Mohapatra and Rourkela unit president of Congress Biren Senapati have been consistently demanding to increase RGH’s bed strength to 500. They are also demanding merger of the private Hi-Tech Medical College and Hospital with RGH to convert it into a Government medical college and hospital as the Hi-Tech medical set up on RGH land with Government grant of `10 crore is ailing and failing to meet agreement conditions.Rourkela BJP MLA Dilip Ray recently accused Government of showing grudge and not posting doctors.