C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Doctors to be reshuffled soon, says Chawla
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
Laxmi Kanta Chawla, minister of health and family welfare, Punjab, today stated that the government was not going to withdraw the non-practicing allowance being given to government doctors in the state. She said all efforts were on to improve the attendance of doctors in government hospitals and health centers.

Chawla was taking to media persons at the Dr H.S. Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital at Panjab University, here, today.

She said the government would soon be reshuffling the postings of doctors in the state on the basis of their specialisations. “It has come to my notice that many doctors feel demoralised as they are working at hospitals and health centers where their specialisation is not required,” she said, adding that doctors who have been performing well will be awarded.

The minister expressed anguish on the fact that progressive states like Punjab and Haryana had the largest incidence of female foeticide and it was sad that many lady doctors were involved in this menace for their own greed. Chawla made an impassioned plea to put an end to female foeticide and to ensure safety, security and education of girls in Punjab and Haryana in particular.

She was also critical of the concept of air-conditioned schools and the luxurious ways of living of some, which was far from ground realities.

Dr Amod Gupta, sub-dean, PGI, in his lecture on “Ethics in Medical Sciences” expressed concern at the growing mistrust in the medical profession. He lamented that, in the garb of hospitality, the public was being fleeced and proper treatment was being denied.

Professor R.C. Sobti, PU vice-chancellor, complimented the minister for her concern and commitment. He briefly outlined the university’s achievements and informed that the university alumni had excelled globally.

Dr B.N.S. Walia, ex-director, PGI, observed that one should not build happiness on the unhappiness of others. Dr. K. Gauba, director principal, informed that the college had catered to over 15,000 patients in its first year.



Pkl will have best of health services: civil surgeon
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 3
Dr Kamla Singh, who took over as the new civil surgeon of the district, has vowed to begin with a clean slate, without bias or prejudice. Her priority, she says, will be to make the best in health services available to the public.

"Unlike other civil surgeons, I will go out in the field and strengthen my supervisory role. The idea is to ensure that the doctors are available to the patients in the different blocks and villages where we have health centres. We have highly qualified staff at our disposal and we will make the most of them," she stated at a press conference.

Maintaining that she would try to bring in more specialisations at the General Hospital, Sector 6, she said she was in the process of preparing a blueprint to make specialists available round-the-clock for emergencies. "We are working on that and hopefully, it will be implemented shortly. This will significantly reduce the number of referral cases to other hospitals. The shortage of paramedical staff at the hospital would also be addressed very soon," she added.

With the summer season arriving, they would gear up to tackle the fly-menace in the Barwala block, she said.

"My priority is also to introduce behavioural changes in the staff so that the patients go back satisfied," she remarked.

She also promised to "investigate" complaints of private practices by some doctors of the government hospital and take action against those found guilty. “I am optimistic that our district will reach the top position as far as availability of health services is concerned," she concluded.



PGI downplays Kanwalpreet episode
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
Amidst different employee organisations urging the PGIMER director to take stern action against hockey player Kanwalpreet Singh for training a revolver at a doctor yesterday, the authorities have played down the incident, terming it a stray one.

While the executive of faculty association of the PGI, at a meeting last night, demanded the registration of a police case against the accused within 24 hours, the Ad Hoc Front To Save PGI Employees Union today urged the authorities to take measures for the safety of staff.

Demands notwithstanding, the authorities said they had informed the police about the incident and it was up to them to take action in this regard.

Talking to mediapersons at a meeting, PGIMER deputy director, administration, Anil Kumar Gupta condemned the incident and said Kanwalpreet’s action of pulling out a revolver and pointing it at the doctor was uncalled for and stray incidents like these could happen anytime.

“Patients, fed up with waiting for long durations in OPDs, sometimes lose their patience, resulting in unsavoury situations,” said Gupta.

When asked why the authorities did not pursue the case and instead left the doctor to handle the situation alone, when the offence was committed on the premises of institution and attempt was made to coerce a doctor on duty into treating a patient at gunpoint, Gupta clarified that they were not under any pressure in the case.

“We did what was required to do by us and now it is the responsibility of the police to handle the case”, added Gupta.

Moreover, the doctor concerned had forgiven the accused after the latter apologised in writing, said Gupta.

Inquiries made by the TNS, however, revealed that the PGI authorities had not yet come forward to lodge a complaint with the police in this regard.

On the other hand, Dr Virendra Singh, general secretary of the faculty association, said they were assured by PGI director K.K. Talwar of taking up the matter with the DGP, Punjab, to initiate action against Kanwalpreet, who is an inspector with the Punjab Police.



Overburdened PGI, skeleton staff
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
It is a nightmare for more than 42,000 patients who visit the OPDs at the PGI every month. They have to wait for hours for their turn, for several continuously in some cases. The out-of-turn checkup of acquaintances of the staff adds to the woes of the waiting patients.

Deputy director (Administration) Anil Kumar Gupta, said that the OPDs were overburdened. It was possible that a patient waiting for long hours could lose temper.

The situation is more grim for patients looking for private rooms as well as those seeking a bed in the general ward. The number of private rooms in the hospital are too less and the authorities have put a proposal to add 100 rooms, pushing the number of private rooms to 190. Patients in need of tests like CT Scan, ultra sound, and dialysis are asked to get these done at private labs. Similarly, obtaining a disability certificate from the PGI can take a year due to shortage of staff.

A BSF personnel with an amputated leg was not issued a disability certificate till last month, even though he had applied for it in February 2006.

Medical Superintendent Prof Raj Bahadur said the patients expected too much from the doctors. A doctor can examine only 30 patients at the OPD in a day and it is getting difficult to tackle the ever-increasing number of patients.



A dose of health for anganwari centres
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
For improving the health of anganwari centres in the city, the UT Health Department plans to give the more doctors. A proposal, seeking the appointment of as many as 10 doctors, has been forwarded to the authorities concerned.

UT Home Secretary Krishna Mohan says the proposal is under the administration’s active consideration and a final decision is likely to be taken shortly.

The sources in his office say a high-level meeting has been held in this regard. Once the proposal is accepted by the administration, the doctors will be deputed along with the para-medical staff at these centres.

The doctors will not only provide on-the-spot treatment to children and pregnant women belonging to the economically weaker strata, but will also offer follow-up treatment wherever required. In case of serious problems the doctors will be at liberty to send the patients to referral hospitals.

Nodal officer of the National Rural Health Mission-cum-UT District Immunisation Officer Dr G. Dewan, when contacted, said the move was part of the administration’s resolve to “ improve the health base at the anganwari level.”

The centres have been providing non-formal pre-school education, immunisation, health check-up, awareness, referral services and supplementary nutrition. The target audiences include not just children, but also pregnant women, nursing mothers and adolescent girls.

As of now, there are over 350 anganwari centres in the city, including 12 “model centres” where the children are provided with uniform, shoes, socks and books.

The centers were set up under the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme in August 1979 with the primary aim of improving the nutrition and health of children below the age of six, besides laying the foundation of physical, psychological and social development of the children.



Dr Bali is cardiology director

Chandigarh, April 3
Former PGI additional professor (cardiology) Dr H.K. Bali has taken over as director, (cardiology), Fortis Hospital, Mohali.

A renowned cardiologist, Dr Bali served in the PGI for over 25 years before putting in his papers to take up his present assignment. Having extensive experience of performing both elective and emergency coronary interventions, Dr Bali is credited with introducing primary angioplasty for patients with acute myocardial infarction in the region. He has performed over 3,000 coronary angioplasties and more than 2,500 coronary artery procedures, including interventions in patients with stable coronary artery disease, acute coronary syndrome, acute myocardial infarction, cardiogenic shock and patients with severe left ventricular dysfunction.

He has received many international and national awards for his groundbreaking work in the field of cardiology. These include, the prestigious D.P. Basu Young Investigators Award. — TNS



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