MADURAI: As many as 301 posts of doctors remain vacant in 94 government hospitals in nine southern districts, depriving the rural people of basic health care, reveals a study.
According to the data compiled from Right to Information (RTI) responses over the last 10 months, the backward Ramanathapuram district topped the list with 66 vacancies.
Though in-patient admission in these 94 hospitals, including nine district headquarter hospitals, 79 Taluk hospitals and 6 Hospitals for Women and Children, witnessed a huge increase, the vacancies are yet to be filled up, said C Anand Raj, Executive Director of Equal Rights, an NGO engaged with health issues.
Besides Ramanad, Dindigul had 51 vacancies, Tirunelveli 45, Virudhunagar 45 and Sivaganga 40, said Anand Raj.
“Out of the total sanctioned strength of 1,128 doctors for these hospitals, 301 doctor posts are remaining vacant for long,” he said.
NGOs Equal Rights and People Watch conducted the study on the performance of rural health services in the nine districts over the last one year. Information was also collected through RTI on delivery status, in-patient admission and bed facilities in these hospitals.
“Eleven hospitals in Ramanathapuram district with 982 bed facilities received 21 lakh outpatients, 3 lakh in-patients and handled 6,500 delivery cases in a year. But, out of the sanctioned strength of 160 doctors there are only 94 serving in these hospitals,” Anand Raj said adding that due to lack of adequate doctors at Mandapam camp, Uchipuli and Pannaikulam hospitals, only eight deliveries were reported in 2014.
In the case of Virudhunagar district, the 10 government hospitals with 1,435 bed facilities received 4.49 lakh in-patients, 11 lakh outpatients and handled 9,298 delivery cases, the highest among the nine districts last year. “But, doctors are struggling to provide adequate care with the present strength of 99 doctors,” said Henri Tiphagne, the Executive Director of People Watch.
On the contrary, the hospital in Kanyakumari district, which treats only 3 lakh inpatients, has only eight posts vacant. “It clearly shows lack of uniformity and lapse to meet people’s requirements,” he said.
The lack of strength in the Government Taluk hospitals located adjacent to NHsin the nine southern districts, could have contributed to the spike in death in road accidents. “These hospitals should have a general physician, anaesthetist, orthopaedist to treat accident victims during the so called golden hour. However, due to paucity of doctors the injured battling for life are being referred to the medical college hospitals often resulting in loss of lives,” he claimed .