Sirsa Civil Hospital grapples with staff shortage : The Tribune India

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Sirsa Civil Hospital grapples with staff shortage

Of the 60 sanctioned posts of medical officer, 13 vacant

Sirsa Civil Hospital grapples with staff shortage

Anil Kakkar

Sirsa, July 10

Sirsa Civil Hospital, situated near the Punjab and Rajasthan border, is grappling with an overwhelming number of patients, averaging between 800 to 1,000 daily visitors. The hospital faces severe operational challenges due to critical staff shortages, despite boasting a state-of-the-art trauma centre equipped with a 10-bed ICU ward that was built at a cost of Rs 2.25 crore.

Out of the 60 medical officer positions sanctioned, 13 are vacant, exacerbating the strain on the hospital's existing staff. The absence of a neurosurgeon has effectively transformed the trauma centre into a referral unit rather than a fully functional emergency facility because critical cases have to be referred elsewhere. Owing to which, in the past six months 448 emergency cases were redirected to other medical centres. Medical College Agroha received the majority of these cases (347), followed by AIIMS Bathinda (54), PGI Rohtak (39), and a few patients were referred to hospitals in Delhi, Chandigarh and Faridabad. The bulk of these referrals, approximately 276 cases, were accidents, highlighting the hospital's struggle to manage trauma cases without adequate specialist staff.

The hospital's chronic shortage of doctors extends beyond trauma care. For over a decade, there has been no resident dermatologist, compelling patients with skin ailments to seek costly treatment at private facilities.

Sheela Devi, of Preet Nagar, who had skin problems visited the hospital, seeking treatment but amid the lack of a skin specialist had to turn to a private hospital for treatment. Sheela said getting treatment from private facilities was not feasible for the poor and the government must provide treatment at government hospitals.

Similarly, the absence of radiologists and neurosurgeons for more than five years has left many patients without locally available essential diagnostic and surgical care. This situation pushes families, often economically challenged, towards expensive private healthcare solutions.

Moreover, the hospital infrastructure itself, built in 1986, is deteriorating and in need of urgent repairs to maintain basic functionality. Despite the ongoing efforts to patch up the building, its outdated facilities struggle to cope with the burgeoning load of patients, leading to extended waiting times and dissatisfaction.

Adding to the patient’s woes is the significant number of drug-addicts the hospital caters to, a demographic that strains resources and complicates treatment pathways. Plans to establish a dedicated facility for these cases have faltered repeatedly, further underscoring the challenges in providing comprehensive healthcare services.

Furthermore, the aging fleet of 36 government ambulances, with only 32 currently operational, poses another critical problem. Many of these vehicles, especially the 12 older ones, have surpassed 3 lakh kilometres in service, raising concerns about their reliability during emergency transports. This situation jeopardises timely access to medical care for critically ill patients.

Sirsa Civil Surgeon Dr Mahinder Kumar Bhadu acknowledged these systemic challenges and emphasised ongoing efforts to address the deficiencies in the staff. He reiterated that vacancies for essential medical positions, including radiologists and neurosurgeons, were regularly being reported to the higher authorities for urgent resolution.

#Rajasthan #Sirsa

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