The Hindu 07.04.2017
Civic body creates 816 posts of doctors in peripheral hospitals
Expected to take patient load from KEM, Sion and Nair
The BMC, in an attempt to boost civic health system, has created 816 posts of doctors at 16 peripheral hospitals in the city. These secondary-level hospitals have large buildings, but lack infrastructure and doctors. They will now be able to take the load of patients from the three main tertiary hospitals — KEM, Sion and Nair.
“All our peripheral hospitals are in prime locations, which are accessible for locals. We are now looking at using them to optimum level by improvising several aspects. To begin with, budgetary allocations have been made for hiring 816 doctors,” said BMC’s additional municipal commissioner Idzes Kundan, adding that the posts include those of postgraduate resident doctors, assistant medical officers, registrars, house officers, and teaching staff. “We are in the process of rolling out diploma courses in the peripheral hospitals. With the courses, we will automatically get resident doctors at work while they are pursuing the course.”
According to Ms. Kundan, several OPDs like ophthalmology, geriatrics and general medicine will be strengthened in the peripheral hospitals so that patients don’t have to come to the tertiary hospitals. “We are also looking at enhancing the infrastructure at the secondary-level hospitals.”
The civic body has a three-tier system to cater to the health needs of citizens. It has over 160 dispensaries at primary level, 16 peripheral hospitals at secondary level, and three main tertiary hospitals.
But lack of facilities in peripheral hospitals like Cooper in Vile Parle, Shatabdi in Kandivali, VN Desai in Santacruz, and Bhagwati in Borivali, which is currently shut for renovation, puts all the load on the three tertiary hospitals.
Activists have reiterated that the secondary level hospitals are a failure and because of this private nursing homes and small hospitals have mushroomed. Also, the decentralisation does not exist due to which patients who can be treated at the primary level land up in tertiary hospitals. The 1,800-bed KEM Hospital admitted 86,290 patients and treated over 19 lakh patients in OPD in 2016. The 1,750-bed Sion Hospital admitted 81,862 patients and treated over 22 lakh people in OPD.
“A large number of these patients come from distant suburbs,” said Dr. Avinash Supe, Dean of KEM Hospital, adding that all specialists in the peripheral hospitals are honorary doctors. “We are planning to set up proper units for various specialities just like the way we have in the tertiary hospitals.”