BENGALURU: Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) sent back quality assessment teams from its hospitals recently and prevented them from doing a check. This has not only resulted in waste of time, resources and logistics for Karnataka State Health System Resource Centre (KSHSRC) but also is a lost opportunity for BBMP hospitals in understanding their lacunae.
Quality assessment reports could have helped the BBMP in preparing a project implementation plan (PIP), which, when submitted to the National Health Mission (NHM) gets them funds required to improve their facilities, sources say.
Around 126 assessors involving district quality managers and quality assistants of all 30 districts, deputy directors of State Institute of Health and Family Welfare, and consultants of KSHSRC conducted a three-day baseline assessment of quality standards of Primary Health Centres and Community Health Centres in Karnataka from November 28. This was done in collaboration with National Health System Resource Center (NHSRC). The study was administratively approved by the commissioner of the Department of Health and Family Welfare.
The assessors visited all health centres in Bengaluru on November 28, 29 and 30. They were formed as teams and route maps were prepared with facilities to be visited, and team leaders were sent to PHCs by hiring vehicles and arranging other logistics like drinking water, food and other requirements.
But when the teams of assessors went to BBMP hospitals, BBMP chief health officer (clinical wing) Dr Nirmala Buggi instructed all superintendents and doctors not to disallow assessment, wrote Executive Director of KSHSRC Dr Sadhna S M in an email to the rank and file of health department, BBMP and NHM.
“The officer was requested over phone, all the teams went and met her personally, informed chief health officer (public wing) and conveyed the same to BBMP joint commissioner of health but the teams were not allowed to do their job,” she wrote. While they had no problem in inspecting the 75 primary health centres administered by the BBMP, they were not allowed to enter the hospitals.
“The commissioner was informed in an email and the chief health officer (public health) was written to. We did not know there are separate officers for public health and clinical health. Once the BBMP Commissioner is informed over email, we expected it to be communicated to the officers below. What would have happened if we were allowed inside after they came to know about it? We wouldn’t have bothered anyone. People can’t come from all over the state to inspect again,” Sadhna
“I had no intimation about any team visiting the hospitals and without my permission, a group of 10-12 people wouldn’t be allowed inside the referral hospitals or maternity homes,” Dr Nirmala told Express.
As far as the infrastructure deficiencies are concerned, since most of the maternity homes are housed in buildings which are at least 60 years old, they desperately need civil works done.
Buggi had earlier told Express that during the previous BBMP Commissioner V Sreenivas Murthy’s tenure, he had inspected all BBMP homes and hospitals and felt at least 168 posts of staff nurses should be sanctioned, which is still awaiting administrative approval since a year. As of now, 39 posts have been sanctioned and 77 have been hired on ‘need-basis’, taking the
total to 116.