ANDHRA PRADESH

Meet reviews medical staff performance

ELURU MARCH 30. The Centrally-sponsored `Janani' scheme as well as the Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu's pet programme, Janmabhoomi, seem to have their impact on the functioning of the Medical and Health Department at the field level.

The issue is reported to have come up for discussion at a review meeting of the department held at the Collectorate here on Sunday. Some medical officers are said to have informed the Collector, Sanjay Jaju, that primary health centres had to remain literally unmanned as medical officers and para-medical staff were on the job of either Janmabhoomi or Janani programmes or attending review meetings convened by officials in the district headquarters round the week leaving patients approaching PHCs in emergency high and dry.

According to the Janmabhoomi guidelines, medical officers and para-medical staff of PHCs are supposed to be on field visits in their respective areas on every Tuesday and Friday in a week on the job of extending medical aid to people in rural areas. As per the Janani guidelines, they are again required to be on field visits on every Wednesday and Saturday. A medical officer reportedly pointed out that they had to spend another two days attending one review meeting or the other convened by the Collector at the district headquarters leaving only one day for attending on patients at PHCs. They attributed their poor performance with respect to various targets to their `pre-occupation' with the assignments given under the twin programmes.

Meanwhile, the Collector said that West Godavari district ranked first in the country in implementing the Central scheme-Reproduction of Child Health for the year 2003-04. The district again stood second in execution of family planning and was poised to secure first place in the State, the Collector said.

However, he expressed serious displeasure at the tardy progress in implementing the programme in the district headquarters town. Even as the Eluru Municipal Council was given a target of 1,000 family planning operations, it undertook only 300 till date, the Collector said and directed municipal officials to complete the rest of the operations by the end of April.

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