Chennai Corporation is planning to use the services of private doctors to man its hospitals in the evening. This is part of an initiative to outsource medical services by the Corporation.
According to the new proposal, private doctors in neighbourhoods will be permitted to use the hospital buildings of the Chennai Corporation to offer free medical services in such evening clinics. “Over 30 per cent of the doctors’ posts remain vacant. New doctors are reluctant to join Chennai Corporation hospitals. So we will outsource it to private agencies who will manage doctors at the clinics,” said the official.
Pharmacists and nurses at the hospitals will however be managed by the Chennai Corporation with medicines also being supplied free.
“Most of those belonging to the working class are unable to visit Corporation hospitals during the day while Corporation doctors are at work only during the day. They cannot be persuaded to work in the evening.
So the plan to outsource such requirements to private agencies will improve the services.
The doctors will offer the same services but will not be employed with Chennai Corporation permanently,” said the official.
The success of the initiative will help tackle the problem of large number of vacancies of doctors’ posts in Corporation hospitals.
The civic body has been trying to set up evening clinics to serve poor people but has not succeeded so far.
The evening clinics will benefit more than 18 lakh residents in 2,500 slums in the city. A number of poor residents are forced to spend thousands of rupees on primary healthcare in private hospitals.
The Chennai Corporation has identified gaps in the existing public healthcare system with a baseline survey pointing to issues such as inequitable spatial distribution of facilities with multiple service providers, unsuitable timings and overload on tertiary healthcare institutions.