THE POSTGRADUATE Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), which has initiated efforts to start a temporary Out Patient Department (OPD) at its proposed satellite centre in Una, Himachal Pradesh, seems to have hit a hurdle as it cannot find doctors to run the facility.
PGI had initially announced walk-in interviews for 10 posts of senior resident doctors on September 18. On the day, only one candidate for the department of ophthalmology turned up and got selected. On September 29, PGI had to cancel the interviews after they did not get any applications for interview.
While PGI is yet to get land to set up the satellite centre in Una, the Himachal government has provided them five rooms at the regional hospital in Una from where the OPD would function. But, PGI officials say getting doctors was a challenge.
PGI Director Professor Jagat Ram told Chandigarh Newsline that the administration was trying its best to get doctors for the OPD. “The government has provided us rooms to start the OPD. Once we get the doctors, we will start the services. It would obviously upgrade health services in the area.” The director said PGI would soon conduct interviews again.
A senior PGI faculty, however, blamed the administration for not offering much to the doctors. “PGI is only offering a good salary to the doctors for Una. After joining the satellite centre, they (doctors) won’t get much other than the salary….,” he said, adding, “The government and the administration need to think about the issue.”
According to the advertisement issued by PGI on September 23, the remuneration to be paid to senior resident doctors would be Rs 60,000 per month and posts are on contract initially for a year. The institute wants to start OPD in various specialities, including obstetrics and gynaecology, orthopaedics and general surgery.
A senior official said PGI may also consider deputing resident doctors from the main campus. “But, the institute has to take a call because the PGI main campus is already overburdened with patients and it would be difficult to depute doctors there,” he said.
A committee formed by PGIMER to find out modalities on how to start a temporary OPD at its proposed PGI satellite centre has also inspected the site in Una. PGI doctors believe that the administration was working under pressure from the Centre to start the temporary OPD in the wake of upcoming Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh.