10-day puja off will pinch patients

Govt says OPD,emergency services will be open but senior doctors opt for leave.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: October 16, 2012 3:30 am

Govt says OPD,emergency services will be open but senior doctors opt for leave

Even though the state government has issued a circular that all emergency services and OPD services of the hospitals will remain open during the pujas,Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s decision to grant 10 days leave to government employees for the pujas — from October 20 to October 29 — will affect the patients most as most of the senior doctors will be on leave.

At the nine government medical colleges,around 90 departmental heads have already applied for the leave. Nursing superintendents too have applied for the 10-day leave.

The October 12 circular issued by the health department stated that OPD services should remain open at all sub-divisional hospitals,rural hospitals,primary healthcare centres,block primary healthcare centres,so that patients are not incovenienced. But questions arose who will look after the patients as doctors will be on leave during the period.

While all medical superintendents,chief medical health officers,block medical health officers have been asked to monitor the situation,around 100 medical officers will be on leave during the period.

Senior officials of the health department said the circular is merely an eyewash as the OPD will remain closed during these days because most of the senior doctors will not be present. Only emergency service will remain open and it will be manned by the junior doctors.

At present,there are 5,000 doctors,26 chief medical health officers,341 block medical health officers,and 10,365 nurses work in government hospitals. Of them,around 2,000 doctors and 7,000 nurses have already decided to go on leave.

Dr Pradip Mitra,Director,IPGMER,admitted that the ten-day leave will create problem for the patients. “But we will try our best to provide all emergency services,” he added.

The government’s decision has evoked sharp criticism from the Opposition. Members of the CPM-backed Association of Health Service Doctors said it will affect the health service badly. “It’s not right to grant doctors and other medical professionals such leave,” said an association member.

Members of the Congress-backed Nationalistic Doctors Forum said the government is running under the whims and fancies of the chief minister.

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