Not only is the PMC’s health department struggling to fill posts of specialists and superspecialists at its 16 hospitals, the ICU facility at Kamala Nehru Hospital is yet to get under way with as many as 56 posts lying vacant.
“For more than three years, the proposal to fill the posts has been gathering dust at the Urban Development Department,” Dr S T Pardeshi, acting chief medical officer of health told Newsline.
The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) facility at the 410-bed Kamala Nehru Hospital is the only one among the PMC-run hospitals and maternity homes. The PMC is now mulling inviting experts from Sassoon General Hospital to operate the ICU. “We hope to start a post-graduate course so that students from B J Medical College can learn and practice at the ICU facility,” Pardeshi said.
He admitted that despite issuing advertisements, the PMC had been unable to attract specialists and super specialists to work at the set up. Authorities at Sassoon General Hospital are yet to give their consent to the proposal. “Out of 19 lecturers’ posts, only six have been filled. Once we recruit more staff we can contemplate appointing them to operate the ICU at Kamala Nehru Hospital, said Dr D B Kadam, official spokesperson at Sassoon hospital.
“We are making contractual appointments to various posts as there are very few takers for the specialists’ posts at other hospitals. Though the PMC has offered incentives like salary of Rs 50,000 and above to specialists, it has failed to attract people,” officials admitted.
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“Of the 1,312 vacant posts at 16 hospitals run by the PMC, 136 posts of Class I-IV officers are yet to be filled. We were able to fill 188 posts of medical officers, and appointed 187 junior nurses, apart from recruiting pharmacists, laboratory technicians and others,” said Anjali Sabne, Deputy Medical Officer of Health.
As many as 10 of the 11 posts for paediatricians are vacant, eight of the 11 posts of resident general surgeons and five of the six posts of radiologists are yet to be filled. Even nine posts of operation theatre attendants have not been filled. According to officials, a central medical oxygen facility – an important component at the ICU – is in place and over Rs 50 crore was spent to renovate Kamala Nehru Hospital