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Ongole RIMS on the brink of closure

Ongole RIMS on the brink of closure
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Highlights

Ongole RIMS on the brink of closure, The Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Science (RIMS) Hospital at Ongole is on the brink of closure due to the apathy of the State government.

  • MCI denies nod to conduct admissions
  • Contract doctors not paid for the past six months

Ongole: The Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Science (RIMS) Hospital at Ongole is on the brink of closure due to the apathy of the State government. The Medical Council of India had already denied permission to the college to conduct admissions for the academic year 2015-16. Adding fuel to fire, the government issued a GO renewing the services of contract doctors only till March 2015. Salaries were not paid to 90 contract doctors including RIMS director Anjaiah for the past of six months. Since its establishment, senior officials in the health department neglected the hospital. RIMS officials are worried as 18 of the 21 departments in the hospital will be closed if the 90 contract doctors leave the hospital.

The students of the college were tense about future as the MCI was denying permission to conduct admissions. In this academic year the MCI gave permission after the intervention of the Ministers. Former chief minister late YS Rajasekahara Reddy sanctioned the hospital and medical college in the year 2008 to provide better health services to people of Prakasam district. The then government allocated Rs 237 crore and 37 acres land. Even after spending Rs 187 crore so far basic infrastructure facilities are not available at the hospital. Out of the 112 teaching staff at the college, 90 are contract staff and 22 are regular. A GO recently released by the government for extending the services of contract staff till March 31 further compounded problems. They were worried as the government may terminate their services at any time after the contract period.

On an average 1000 outpatients and 100 in-patients are treated at the hospital daily. The poor, who cannot afford, visit the hospital but the poor infrastructure and shortage of health staff let them down. There are allegations that the patients are at the receiving end of the health staff. Patients alleged that doctors are not available round the clock. Though crores of rupees were spent, CT scan and MRI scan equipment was not yet installed in the hospital. Platelet separation machine was still elusive at the hospital.

The sanitation at the hospital is in a pathetic condition. Stink emanates from the wards and garbage is strewn everywhere. Patients procure water and medicines from private shops at exorbitant prices. As a result, the poor are compelled to borrow money to visit private hospitals.

The hospital situation further worsened under the present government headed by N Chandrababu Naidu. Sanitary staff was not paid salaries for the past six months and it indicates the apathy of government. Similarly, salaries for the staff working in trauma care centre were not paid since September, 2014. Though the contract staff staged protests, there was no response from the government.

The situation in medical and nursing hostels is no different. The students need to procure water from private persons. Vexed with frequent power cuts, ladies hostel in-mates staged protests several times. Stipend was paid to the nursing students for the past seven months. Electricity officials issued disconnection notices as the hospital owed Rs 2 crore to the department. The uncertainty over the fate of RIMS will hamper the career prospects of 400 medical students and 200 nursing students. They were suffering due to the negligence of the government.

Without considering all these problems, the Ministers and the higher officials reprimand the hospital staff during review meetings. There are allegations that the elected representatives and the Ministers from the district were not putting enough pressure on the government for fund release.

Despites all these problems, the officials are hopeful that the MCI will give nod to the medical college to conduct admissions for the next academic year. Since the opening of the medical college in 2010, the admission process was never completed without hurdles. The RIMS officials wrote a letter to the State government regarding the pending works at the hospital, but there was no response from the officials.

Citing deficiencies, the MCI denied permission to the medical college to conduct admissions. The only option is to rectify the deficiencies pointed out by the MCI Team by January 21. The State government should wake up from slumber and take corrective measures for improving facilities at the hospital.

By: Showry

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