Top health officials across Maharashtra conducted surprise visits at the government-run primary health centres and rural hospitals in the wee hours of Friday to check whether emergencies were being attended to and the doctors and nurses were present on duty. Barring a few places like the Thane Primary Health Centre and some others where the doctors were not present, the functioning of the health facilities was as per routine, Dr Nitin Ambadekar, Director of Health, Maharashtra, told The Indian Express.
This move to conduct surprise visits was an initiative of Tukaram Mundhe, who recently took charge as the Health Services Commissioner of Maharashtra. Mundhe instructed the district health officers, civil surgeons and deputy directors of health across Maharashtra to conduct surprise visits at the primary health centres and rural hospitals to check whether the staff was present at the health facilities and emergencies were being attended to during the late night hours.
Mundhe, who is also Director, National Health Mission, Maharashtra, told The Indian Express that the main purpose was to check whether the medical and paramedical staff are present at the health facilities during the night hours. “I had instructed the deputy director, civil surgeons and district health officers to randomly visit any primary health centre or rural hospital without informing the staff on duty. These kinds of drives will now be regularly taken up,” he said.
Pune-headquartered Director of Health Dr Ambadekar, who also visited the health facilities, said that emergency services were in place. Dr Ambadekar said that effort during the surprise visit was also to identify the lacunae so that the problem could be resolved.
“While the performance has by and large been satisfactory, we wanted to ensure the focus is maintained also during the festive season,” he added.
Dr Ambadekar said there are an approximate 19 lakh deliveries being performed annually and at least 50 per cent are done at the government set up.
“There have been instances where non attendants have been reported in the past, but overall the performance has been satisfactory. These drives are a way of emphasizing that the situation is being monitored,” he added.
Each primary health centre is required to have two medical officers, while three are posted at the rural hospitals. There are 1,839 primary health centres and 504 rural hospitals, including women’s hospital and sub district hospitals, in Maharashtra. The Collector of each district has been authorised to fill up contractual posts.
Deputy Director, Health, Dr Sanjog Kadam visited the Alandi Rural Hospital in Pune, while Dr Bhagwan Pawar, District Health Officer, Pune, visited the primary health centre at Wagholi and found that a delivery was underway.
Pune District Civil Surgeon Ashok Dr Nandapurkar made a surprise visit to the Rural Hospital at Vadgaon Maval. “I got a message at 11.15 pm and immediately went to the Rural Hospital at Vadgaon Maval at 12.15 am where there were doctors on duty,” he said.