Staff Reporter

Posts of such government doctors will be considered as vacant

KANCHEEPURAM: New doctors will be posted in the place of government doctors who have gone on long leave, according to Health Minister M.R.K. Panneerselvam.

Talking to reporters here on Wednesday, the Minister said posts of government doctors, who have opted for long leave, would be considered as vacant and suitable candidates would be posted there to counter complaints about inadequate number of doctors. Stating that a total of 150 doctors had been selected through the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission for posting in various government hospitals through out the State, he said the TNPSC was also directed to conduct tests for selecting another 800 doctors for appointment in government hospitals in the near future.

Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation has been entrusted with the job of finding suitable medical practitioners as `substitutes’ for government doctors, who have been posted in government hospitals at The Nilgiris, Nagapattinam, Villupuram and Tiruvannamalai districts and for those who have either gone on long leave or failed to turn up for duty.

As per the proposal, the local doctors identified by the TNMSC would be allowed to treat patients till the government doctors posted in government hospitals in these four districts turn up for duty, Mr.Panneerselvam said. The remuneration given to these `substitute’ doctors by the TNMSC would be reimbursed to the Corporation by the State government, he said. Health Secretary V.K.Subburaj said around 300 government doctors were suspended for various reasons, including for not turning up for duty regularly, providing wrong treatment to patients etc.

Increase in posts

Steps have also been initiated to increase the sanctioned posts of medical practitioners in taluk government hospitals based on the number of outpatients and inpatients, Mr. Panneerselvam said. These posts were sanctioned some 20 years ago when doctor posts in the taluk hospitals were restricted to 3 or 2 or even 1 depending on the number of patients availed treatment,

However, the present DMK government has decided to ensure at least 4 doctors – one each in general medicine, maternity, paediatrics and anaesthesia category – were posted at taluk hospitals to help the rural masses.

In an effort to ensure round-the-clock ambulance service, the State government has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chennai-based Emergency Medical Research Institute.

It would be entrusted with the responsibility of providing free ambulance service to the needy and ensure patients or accident victims were brought to nearby hospitals – be it a government hospital or private sector hospital – in time with the help of Global Positioning System.

To begin with, the NGO would be offering this service with 198 vehicles to be handed over to them by the State government. Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi would be launching the free service, which could be availed of by dialling the toll free number, the Minister said.

Earlier, Mr. Panneerselvam and Mr.Subburaj reviewed the performance of government hospitals and primary health centres in Kancheepuram district.