Bid to bridge demand-supply gap of specialists in public health network
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a bid to bridge the demand-supply gap of medical specialists in the State's public health network, the authorities have decided to reappoint retiring government doctors from four disciplines on contract basis.
Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Health Minister P.K. Sreemathy said retiring specialist doctors from the disciplines of general medicine, surgery, gynaecology and anaesthesiology would be reappointed with a consolidated monthly remuneration of Rs.25,000 with their consent. The remuneration will be in addition to their monthly pension emoluments. Initially they will be given a one-year contract appointment and it would be extended if found essential. The reappointed doctors would not be allowed to work in other hospitals, but they could continue with their private practice just like other doctors in government service.
Replying to questions, she said there were vacancies of 71 doctors in general medicine, 78 doctors in surgery, 43 in gynaecology and 46 in anaesthesia.
Pointing out that there were several instances of specialist doctors being appointed in public health centres (PHCs), where their specialisation was of not much use, the Minister said the practice would be stopped from April 1. All specialist doctors in PHCs would be redeployed in district hospitals, general hospitals, specialist hospitals and taluk hospitals, where there is greater demand for specialisation. Preference would be given to the choice of the doctors when they were redeployed.
The Minister said a field station of the National Institute of Virology, Pune, with the most modern facilities for conducting tests for various diseases, would be set up at the Kerala State Institute of Virology and Infectious Diseases, Alappuzha. The Government had already acquired eight acres of land for this. The State institute and the national field station would be located in the compound. The State institute was functioning from a rented building now.
A three-member team from the national institute, led by assistant director Cecilia Dayaraj, had visited the land and accepted the suggestion to set up the field station there. The team made a proposal to the Central Government to sanction Rs 25 crore to set up the field station.
Meanwhile, the State Government will take steps to augment the facilities at the State institute immediately so that it will be able to work as a full-fledged disease testing facility before the onset of monsoon, the Minister said.
The Health Department has launched a web site where official circulars and orders would be available. The entire data on the department would be available on the site. This will make the posting and transfer of medical personnel transparent.
The Malayalam version of various orders issued by the department in the last two months will be released as a handbook on March 21.
Hospital management committees will be constituted for all public hospitals in the State. The Government will sanction Rs.5 lakh each for the committees of district hospitals, and Rs.1 lakh each for the panels attached to taluk-level hospitals, community health centres and PHCs.
Responding to a calling attention motion by V.S. Sunil Kumar (CPI) in the State Assembly on Friday, the Health Minister said that the Government planned to float a company to procure drugs and equipment and streamline their distribution among Government hospitals.