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State ‘apathy' irks junior doctors

January 12, 2012
By

Problem of stipends will be tackled with immediate effect, says Health Minister

Starved, for decades, even of basic facilities for both patients and doctors, the Junior Doctors Association (JUDA) today, condemned the government’s utter apathy as reason for crippled condition of the Osmania General Hospital, among other teaching hospitals in the State.

The resort for innumerable poor patients, the hospital, doctors allege, lacks everything from emergency to lab facilities.

“We have absolutely no facilities to cater to emergency cases. There are no adrenaline drugs, no incubator facilities and no lab facilities to perform tests,” said Dr. Ashok, president, JUDA.

Diagnostic centres

“Let alone specialised treatment, we do not even have access to gloves, bandages, masks or suture material to perform surgery,” he added.

The dearth of lab equipment to perform any tests, like the liver function test, cancer antigen test or a complete heamogram, doctors said, has led to mushrooming of private diagnostic centres around the hospital forcing poor patients to pay through their nose.

With absolute lack of transparency in conducting post graduate entrance examinations, junior doctors also complained that seats in several branches even in the government teaching hospital are being sold for huge sums.

Moreover, requests for a special protection force in all teaching hospitals of the State, to protect both patients and doctors during turmoil, have fallen on deaf ears, they said.

Despite a Government Order mandating that their stipends be dispensing on the first week of each month, doctors said that they get their stipends only once in every five months.

‘Uninhabitable’

“While this may be the case, we live in conditions that the Director of Medical Education himself, on visiting the hostel, remarked as uninhabitable. Walls of the hostel leak, the water tank is filled with algae and the stench is unbearable. Yet, nothing has been done for over 3 years now,” said Aditya.

Brining several such issues to the attention of Minister for Health, D.L Ravindra Reddy, amid stringent security, on his visit to the hospital, the junior doctors displayed numerous papers revealing government empty promises on these fronts over the years.

Demanding immediate action, doctors said that government’s failure to address the issues would necessitate an indefinite strike from their part.

Plea to doctors

“Bringing immediate changes in the decades-old system is not possible, but I will definitely look into the issues and ensure that they are remedied. The problem of stipends, however, will be tackled with immediate effect,” he said, urging the doctors not to undertake a strike.

Article source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/article2790963.ece

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