COIMBATORE: With the Ooty Medical College Hospital (OMCH) facing a shortage of gynaecologists, doctors from government hospitals in the district are being sent on deputation on a rotational basis. However, gynaecologists from Coimbatore said they find it difficult to travel and also urged the State government to conduct transfer counselling to fill the posts in Ooty at the earliest.
Minister promises to fill posts
TNIE took up the issue with Health Minister Ma Subramanian during his visit to Coimbatore on Wednesday. The minister said his department would examine the need in the workforce in the Ooty hospital, and added, “Instead of diverting the workforce from Coimbatore, the vacant posts at Ooty Medical College Hospital shall be filled after gathering details on the number of staff required in the department.”
When contacted, OMCH’s dean-cum-special officer Manohari Ramachandran said while one doctor is on maternity leave, another has taken a long leave for her ward’s health ailment. She explained, “Currently, a doctor and associate professor are in the department. An assistant professor post has been filled and the doctor would soon join after she is relieved from the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital. As far as the professor post is concerned, it will be filled once the Directorate of Medical Education (DME) conducts the counselling. Until then, two doctors are being deputed here under the National Health Mission (NHM).”
No allowance provided: Docs
Gynaecologists with whom TNIE spoke lamented the difficulty in shuttling between Coimbatore to Ooty. A doctor, seeking anonymity, said, “Many GHs are short-staffed. When we leave for Ooty, our work at the hospital here takes a beating. Also, we do not receive any allowance during deputation.”
Another doctor said the department started providing ferry services from Mettupalayam to OMCH following demands. “Earlier, we had to travel all the way to Ooty, burning a hole in our pockets. Recently, the department started offering ferry services to the doctors, but only till Mettupalayam,” the doctor pointed out. After 48 days of deputation, they said the department provides them post-duty off.
State general secretary of Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association (TNGDA) N Ravishankar told TNIE, “As a medical college hospital, there must be at least seven doctors in the OG department. We have requested the State government to fill the posts at the recently-upgraded 11 medical college hospitals.”