Monday December 17, 2018
Home Uncategorized Dearth of doc...

Dearth of doctors ails Odisha health sector, quacks rule roost

0
//
Republish
Reprint

Bhubaneswar: An acute shortage of doctors plagues Odisha, with quacks ruling the roost in rural areas and the urban health sector at the mercy of paramedics and pharmacists.

Despite several schemes launched in the state to improve medical facilities, acute shortage of doctors and specialists has paralysed the healthcare delivery system, even though this capital city is emerging as a health hub with the presence of reputed private hospitals.

Over 3,500 doctors’ posts are lying vacant in three medical colleges and other hospitals in the state. Besides, more than 500 doctors have not joined their duties since long, despite the government slapping notices on them for leaving their place of duty without authorisation, said a senior official of the health department.

While 375 teachers’ posts were unmanned in three government-run medical colleges – SCB medical college, MKCG medical college and VSS medical college – and one dental college, a total of 20 professors, 44 associate professors and 297 assistant professors’ posts were vacant in the medical colleges, Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak told the assembly recently.

Similarly, there is a huge vacancy in the rural areas. Against 4,864 sanctioned posts, only 2,293 doctors are working in government hospitals starting from primary hospitals to district headquarter hospitals, the minister said.

According to the Indian Public Health Standards, there should be at least one doctor for a population of 3,500.

“The state should have 11,540 doctors for its 4.2 crore (42 million) population. But it has a sanctioned strength of 4,864 doctors for government-run health centres,” said an expert.

Recently, the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Post Graduate Institute of Paediatrics, popularly known as Sishu Bhawan at Cuttack, had hogged the headlines for a spate of infants’ deaths.

A government report has found that more than 5,900 infants have died while undergoing treatment in the last five years.

Even though the government has taken a number of steps, doctors are not showing any interest to serve in the state.

In order to meet the shortage of doctors, the state government had last year enhanced the retirement age of government doctors from 58 to 60 years, and 62 in the case of the medical college faculty.

In order to retain doctors in the tribal and inaccessible areas, especially the undivided Koraput-Balangir-Kalahandi (KBK) districts, the government has implemented a package of incentives with 100 percent additional salary to attract medicos in these pockets. These moves however have failed to attract doctors.

With the absence of doctors in rural areas, quacks rule the roost, taking undue advantage of ignorance and illiteracy of rural people.

“People are being taken for a ride by these quacks not only in rural areas but also the urban areas in the state. A good number of quacks are active in the state and playing with the lives of people. While the Medical Council of India has implemented an anti-quackery law, the state medical council should implement it,” Saroj Sahu, president of Indian Medical Association, Odisha, said.

He said it is unfortunate that the state medical council is in a defunct form for the last 25 years and is managed by one person.

Sahu said the state government has neither identified the quacks nor taken any action against them. It does not have an anti-quackery cell, said sources.

Health Minister Nayak however said that the government is acting against the quacks whenever it receives any complaint from the people.

There are allegations that in interior pockets of tribal districts some quacks producing fake certificates are active in government hospitals at pharmacist level.

“The chief district medical officers (CDMOs) have been asked to inform the police about the quacks in their areas,” Chitaranjan Nayak, director (health services), said.

According to social activists working in rural areas, due to the absence of basic healthcare, villagers are gullible to the services provided by quacks, who are the biggest challenge and roadblock in improving healthcare in rural areas.

(Chinmaya Dehury, IANS)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 NewsGram

Next Story

Cancer-Causing Chemical Found In Odisha Fish Sample

Odisha mostly depends on Andhra Pradesh to meet its demand for fish. Last year, the total fish production in Odisha was around 6.5 lakh tonne

0
Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

Cancer-causing chemical formalin was found in fish stocks available in the markets here, an official said on Friday.

Traces of cancer-causing formalin were found in Pomfret fish samples, collected from the Unit-IV fish market in Bhubaneswar, said Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Department Secretary Vishal Gagan.

A 12-member team from the department collected samples of around nine varieties of fish including marine, freshwater, and brackish water from the market and Chilika Fresh outlets — fish retailers — on Friday.

While formalin content was found in Pomfret fish samples, Gagan said the entire stock will be destroyed if more fish tested positive.

After the Assam government banned the import of fish from Andhra Pradesh, the Odisha government on Thursday issued directions to examine the quality of fish being imported from Andhra Pradesh to detect the presence of formalin.

Verification samples at different fish markets in urban and rural areas will be taken up in order to prevent the sale of adulterated fish.
Verification samples at different fish markets in urban and rural areas will be taken up in order to prevent the sale of adulterated fish.

Formalin, a cancer-inducing chemical, is used to keep dead fish fresh and enhance their storage life.

Gagan also informed that a committee under the District Collectors will be formed to ensure that no prohibitory substances are used to preserve the stock.

“As only one out of nine samples has tested positive, we are now concentrating on collecting information from various parts of the state and will take an appropriate decision regarding a ban on fish imports,” he said.

Also Read: “DNA Barcode” To Deliver Personalised Care For Breast Cancer Patients

Verification samples at different fish markets in urban and rural areas will be taken up in order to prevent the sale of adulterated fish.

Odisha mostly depends on Andhra Pradesh to meet its demand for fish. Last year, the total fish production in Odisha was around 6.5 lakh tonne. (IANS)