Senior doctors rue ‘indifference’ of health authorities in improving infrastructure
Senior doctors at Osmania General Hospital (OGH) are protesting against what many here perceive as ‘indifference’ of health authorities towards the 150-year-old hospital.
They are also deeply hurt because nobody acknowledges their role in saving lives during the Dilsukhnagar twin blasts and the hurried shift to corporate hospitals by overlooking the in-house experience. “Nobody is bothered to improve facilities although doctors here are most experienced. Such attitude among health authorities must change,” says president, Telangana Government Doctors Association (OGH unit) Dr. B. Nagender.
Boycott of duties
Doctors have begun to boycott their duties for an hour between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. and sporting black badges all through the day to protest the government’s apparent lack of interest to improve OGH. The doctor’s will hold protests for one week before taking a call on complete medical strike. One of their demands is to curtail the role of A.P. Health and Medical Infrastructure Development Corporation (APHMIDC). Doctors are blaming it for delay in procurement, perennial shortage of drugs and other essentials meant for government hospitals.
“APHMIDC takes a lot of time to procure medical infrastructure. It is headed by an IAS officer and its top posts are held by engineers and they don’t understand the immediate needs of doctors. It is the root cause for shortage of drugs and perennial delay in procurement of infrastructure,” doctors said. The department should be only constructing buildings, they affirm.
The delay in releasing Rs. 200 crore for construction of a new building at OGH too is being criticised. “Nobody has even bothered to lay the foundation stone for the project. We fail to understand this apathy,” they said.
There is a demand from doctors that the State government follow Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) system in Arogyasri. In CGHS, patients are first evaluated by CGHS empanelled doctors who then take a call on referring patients to private hospitals.
“Every year, the government spends close to Rs. 12,000 crore under Arogyasri. Private hospitals claim about 85 per cent of the insurance funds. For even simple procedures like removal of kidney stones, which can be done easily in government hospitals, Arogyasri provides reimbursement to private hospitals and this has to change,” the doctors added.