For close to a decade, super-specialty departments at Vadodara’s civic hospital, SSG, have remained closed due to lack of staff. Now, a letter from Additional Director of Medical Education and Research has instructed the administration to immediately appoint eight super-specialists, including cardiologist, neurologist, neurosurgeon, urologist, cardiothoracic surgeon and burns and plastic surgeon, under the Chief Minister Setu Yojana. These posts have been lying vacant for close to ten years, according to officials.
The administration, however, is in the process of examining the financial implications of the appointment process.
A circular by the Additional Director, Medical Education and Research, stated, “SSG hospital is hereby informed that under the CM Setu Yojana, it has been decided to appoint super-specialists in all hospitals attached to medical colleges. These super specialists have to be appointed as per the rules mentioned in the policy. SSG hospital is granted permission to appoint as many as eight visiting super specialists.”
The circular, dated August 14, was issued days after a patient’s son appealed to MP Ranjan Bhatt urging her to help in his mother’s timely surgery. The patient was admitted in the Neurosurgery department at the hospital, which lacks critical equipment.
Dr Amey Patankar, honorary HOD and neurosurgeon said, “Most of the super-speciality hospitals have died a slow death. In 2012-13 and 2013-14, eight equipment were sanctioned for the Neurosurgery Department in the annual health budget at the hospital. Not even one has been purchased. Despite this negligence on the part of DMER, GMSCL, etc., I have continued to serve the poor at SSG Hospital.”
While Bhatt assured that she has taken up the matter with health officials in the state, the SSG administration has said that the process to finalise the super-specialists under the CM Setu Yojana is time consuming.
Baroda Medical College Dean Dr Amit Leuva said, “We held a meeting to start the process of recruiting super-specialists according to the directive in the circular… We need to check if the budget allocation will be made under CM Setu by the government or by SSG.”