Civic authority wants State to take over its hospitals, schools
The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is contemplating handing over the hospitals, health centres and education institutions to the State Government. The cash-strapped civic authority has been finding it difficult to manage the hospitals, health centres and education institutions, given severe staff shortage.
A highly placed source said the civic authority is seriously contemplating this move as it has no powers to recruit staff directly.
“We have to approach the State Government for everything. All recruitment decisions have to be approved by the Government.” The BBMP has 137 educational institutions, including 78 shishu vihars, 13 primary schools, 33 high schools and 13 junior colleges. More than 10,400 students study in the BBMP-run institutions.
The BBMP is already sourcing teaching staff from outside and had sought Government's permission to recruit 301 teachers. The proposal is now tangled in the proverbial red tape.
On deputation already
Similar is the case in the health department. The BBMP has six referral hospitals, 25 maternity hospitals, 28 health centres and 10 sub-health centres in the city. Most doctors in the BBMP-run hospitals and health centres are on deputation from the State Health Department.
The BBMP has sent a proposal to recruit 89 medical practitioners, including 39 gynaecologists. The Government is not only sitting on it but also has worsened matters by asking the BBMP to send the gynaecologists back to their parent departments.
“As most doctors are on deputation, the BBMP is forced to pay them salaries as per the pay scale of their parent departments. This is stretching the BBMP's administrative expenses,” an official said.
Sources said the BBMP spends more than Rs. 100 crore on both its health and education departments. “The BBMP is duplicating the work of the State Departments of Health and Education in its health centres, hospitals and education institutions,” the official said.
The heads of these departments in the BBMP have been directed to look into the pros and cons of this proposal. With an increase in the jurisdiction of the BBMP, the problems (mainly infrastructure related) have also increased.
“If the two departments are transferred to the Government, the civic authority will have more funds at its disposal to take up infrastructure and development work in the city,” said the official.