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Rural Primary Health Centres face shortage of doctors

Rural Primary Health Centres face shortage of doctors
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Highlights

People in rural and remote areas remain at risk of catching seasonal diseases in rainy season, as many Primary Health Centres (PHCs) across the state were facing shortage of doctors and para-medical staff.

Amaravati: People in rural and remote areas remain at risk of catching seasonal diseases in rainy season, as many Primary Health Centres (PHCs) across the state were facing shortage of doctors and para-medical staff.

The death of 16 tribals in Chaparayi village in East Godavari district exposed the plight of people in remote areas. Minister for health and medical education Kamineni Srinivas contended that doctors were not interested in working rural and remote areas even as they were being offered one to two lakh rupees as salary.

Highlights:

  • Government diverted PHC doctors as tutors in teaching hospitals
  • General physicians have key role in serving people in rainy season

Surprisingly, Andhra Pradesh Government Doctors Association (APGDA) argued that the number of doctors in PHCs was satisfactory. The problem was that some doctors with PG working in PHCs have been diverted as tutors in government teaching hospitals in cities and the government did not recruit doctors to replace them.

“There is huge demand for general physicians in rural areas in rainy season as problem of seasonal diseases is high” a leader of APGDA said. They said that they would meet principal secretary of medical and health on Wednesday to discuss the issue.
As per norms, five doctors should be appointed in PHCs, including gynaecologist, general physician, paediatrician and anaesthesiologist.

General physicians and gynaecologists have a key role in PHCs. But the doctors with PG degree in rural hospitals prefer work as tutors in cities.

“Post PG counselling in 2016, around 800 posts were filled up in government hospitals. But, majority of them managed to get postings as tutors on deputation basis with political influence” APGDA general secretary Pidakala Syamsundar said.

He also said the government did not fill up specialist doctors posts for the last three years though 339 posts were lying vacant. Meanwhile, doctors say there was no truth in the claims of government that doctors were not interested in working in rural areas.

“The problem is the government prefers to fill up doctor posts on contract or temporary basis for which doctor are not ready,” they said.Referring to deaths of tribals, Syamsundar said though there were doctors in Agency areas, they could not reach hill areas as the government did not provide any basic facilities.

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