The newly set up Kalpana Chawla Government Medical College and Hospital (KCGMCH) in Karnal is already reeling under the acute shortage of doctors.
The footfall at the out-patient department (OPD) has increased up to around 2,200 per day and long queues of patients could be witnessed outside the doctors’ rooms in the lack of required number of doctors.
Despite repeated advertisements for the vacant posts in the past six months, the doctors are reluctant to join, citing ‘lack of special incentives’.
As per information procured by the Hindustan Times, there are around 100 sanctioned posts of doctors, including senior professors and residents, but only 72 doctors have assumed charge so far against the minimum requirement of 85 doctors or teachers.
Officials in the hospital said the Haryana health department had already given approval for the appointment of around 12 teachers, including two posts of associate professors, general medicine, and one post of assistant professor each at pharmacology, radiodiagnosis and psychiatry departments besides a statistician-cum-assistant professor at community medicine and a casualty medical officer.
Why are doctors not ready to join
When contacted, a senior doctor of Haryana health department said the MBBS doctors did not wish to join government services in the state due to poor incentives and salary. “Also in KCGMCH, no special incentives were announced for the doctors.
The government provides only ₹50,000-₹60,000 to an MBBS doctor, while he or she could easily earn anything between ₹1.5 lakh and ₹2 lakh per month by working in a private hospital,” the doctor, who was not authorised to speak to media, added.
“Moreover, the government provides only ₹3,000 extra as an incentive to specialists, whereas salaries of specialist doctors are far better in nearby states of Delhi and Punjab,” he said.
When contacted, KCGMCH director Dr Surender Kashyap said, “We are in process of making appointments but the problem is the reluctancy of doctors to join.”
He, however, said the issues will soon be resolved.
Meanwhile, despite repeated calls and text messages to health minister Anil Vij, ACS (health) RR Jowel and DG (health) Satish Kumar Aggarwal, none of them responded to HT.
The hospital was made operational in April last year and opened admission for 100 MBBS seats, but has not overcome the shortage of doctors till now.
Despite four ultrasound rooms with latest equipment at the hospital, due to scarcity of enough radiologists, only one ultrasound room is functional and patients have to wait for hours to undergo the scan.
“We are waiting here for the past four hours as there is only one ultrasound room operational and they give preference to the patients coming from emergency,” said a patient, Gurpartap Singh, who was waiting for his turn.
Though the CT scan facility was recently started in the hospital, the MRI, cath lab and blood bank could not be made operational inside the new building of this 300-bedded hospital spread over 50 acres of land.
The hospital sees a rush of patients daily as it is the only medical college catering to several districts of the region and witnesses a large number of patients coming from neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
However, patients admitted to the emergency ward were seen satisfied with the services.