CUTTACK: Even as the State Government talks tall of strengthening trauma care network to reduce accident-related mortalities and extend facilities to the grassroots, its actions seem to be on the contrary. A glaring case in point is the stymieing of the Neurosurgery Department of SCB Medical College and Hospital (SCBMCH), the only teaching unit for creation of specialised manpower in the State.
Keeping in view the need for increasing number of patients and churning out neurosurgeons to meet the requirements of the trauma care centres being established in different parts of the State, the Government had decided to upgrade the Department in SCBMCH to a Centre of Excellence not only in Odisha but also the Eastern region.
The Health Department, accordingly, had sanctioned additional faculty and manpower for creation of a second unit in the Department in January this year. As per the notification, the Department had got an additional professor and assistant professor along with 10 more nurses while the number of beds in the ward was raised from 34 to 60 and ICU from four to 10.
However, six months down the line, the expansion continues to be on paper only. And instead of appointing personnel to the created posts, the Health Department has begun pulling out doctors from the unit by transferring them.
The expansion was deemed imperative by the ever-increasing patient load and the need to produce more trained neurosurgeons. The Department is the only teaching unit in Odisha which offers superspeciality MCh programme with four seats. Besides, the upgradation would have facilitated integration of advanced treatment like surgery for epilepsy, sterostatic and functional neursurgery, surgery for cerebrovascular and endovascular diseases, and spinal endoscopy surgery.
According to hospital records, on an average, more than nine patients require major surgery every day but the number of operations at present is not more than three. Thus, the waiting period for routine surgeries has stretched beyond 60 days. The Department, which started in 1967, has not undergone any expansion till date even though patients have increased manifold.
Interestingly, several latest equipment for conduct of advanced procedures like operating microscope for microsurgery and drills worth more than Rs 2 crore have been procured but are yet to be installed as the present OT unit is not suitable for the sophisticated systems. A high level meeting under Health Minister in 2011 had decided to hand over the Cardiothoracic department, which is to be shifted to the Cardiology Institute, to Neurosurgery. But with the shifting delayed, the much required additional space is still out of reach of the Neurosurgery department, sources said.
■ Govt had decided to upgrade Neurosurgery Department in SCBMCH to a Centre of Excellence
■ Six months down the line, the expansion continues to be on paper
■ The dept has not undergone any expansion till date even though patients have increased manifold