Hyderabad, July 08: For some unexplained reasons, the state government delayed the appointment of an IAS officer to oversee the management of government hospitals and check underhand dealings, even as the Health Department implements a Rs 200 crore package to improve health services in the state by modernizing them.
The state government was expected to take a decision on appointing an IAS officer specifically to oversee the functioning of government hospitals. This IAS officer was also expected to be given full powers and a free hand by the government to streamline the function of public hospitals.
The need for this IAS officer was felt after the government decided to modernize the public hospitals for improving health services to the patients and allotted Rs 200 crore for this purpose. The Centre will bear 75 per cent and state 25 per cent of this fund.
Equipment in departments like cardio-thoracic and nephrology will be provided and buildings will also be remodelled.
The facilities as well as the equipment, offered in the government hospitals today have become outdated, it was felt. This apart, the patients’ strength has also increased with the increase in population. Added to this, the staff, including the doctors, were not in a position to cope up with the growing numbers of patients.
Not only equipment and the buildings, but even the administrative talent was seen to be short in numbers, which has made the problem all the more unmanageable.
The government was therefore induced to place a bureaucrat in-charge to run the hospitals in the revised situation.
“There is a shortage of personnel,” said Health and Medical Education Minister D L Ravindra Reddy at the Secretariat on Thursday. Monthly retirement of some of the seniors has become a problem due to which appointment of senior bureaucrats has been delayed, he added.
In the current mode of administration, the lay secretary is in-charge of securing the drugs and equipment among others. But these officials are said to be making money through underhand dealings.
The government was looking at the IAS officer appointment to hopefully put a stop to these irregularities.
Even the services under 108 and 104 will also be upgraded as the government is already bearing 95 per cent of the expenditure incurred. The private hospital managements are said to be cornering the profits but the patients particularly the poor are being neglected.
This is the reason why the Health Department is contemplating to keep the cited services under check.
Three hospitals under Rajiv Institute of Medical Sciences banner in Adilabad, Kadapa and Srikakulam districts were to be opened but permission to them have been refused on the grounds that some facilities were not available like auditorium and staffing incomplete among others.
Dr Ravindra Reddy said that Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had checked up with him about the permission for the three RIMS hospitals when he was in the city recently.
The state Minister is understood to have renewed his plea for the said permission for the three hospitals.
The three hospitals will be in addition to the existing 10 teaching and four RIMS hospitals apart from the area hospitals in the state.
While referring to the service and equipment, the Minister also made clear that efforts were on to improve the care for patients. In the same direction Rs 25 crore has been sanctioned to the Niloufer Hospital which was being visited by scores of patients each day.