District Hospital Confusion

Confusion over who should head the district hospital is causing inconvenience to patients in Bidar.

21bg_bidar_hosp_22_2981802fIn the last couple of weeks, the State government has issued four circulars appointing two different officials as the head of the 300-bed hospital. The district surgeon from the Health and Family Welfare Department and a medical superintendent from the Medical Education Department have assumed charge of the hospital, on rotation basis.

This has affected the day-to-day administration of the hospital and caused confusion among doctors. Signing of files, deputing of officers and other routine tasks are being affected. Approving X-rays and additional diagnostics, certifying autopsies, getting advanced medication of patients and/or extending their stay in the hospital, procuring anti-snake venom, etc. need approval from the head of the hospital. “We are tired of running from one office to another for these tasks every day,” a doctor said.

No clarity

The government does not seem to be clear on the issue. In a letter on June 25, the had issued orders for the government medical colleges in Karwar, Kodagu, Koppal, Gadag, Kalaburagi and Chamarajanagar, which all are attached to hospitals, conferring administrative control of the district hospital to the dean/principal of the medical college. Interestingly, Bidar was left out of the order.

For the last few years, Shivakumar Shetkar, medical superintendent from the Bidar Institute of Medical Sciences (BRIMS) has been supervising the hospital. A few days ago, C.S. Ragate, district surgeon, took over as the government said the hospital belonged to the Health and Family Welfare Department. In a week, Dr. Shetkar was instructed by the Medical Education Department to take charge of the hospital. Then, in a few days later, the government issued another order giving back the charge to Dr. Ragate. In the meantime, C. Channanna, BRIMS director, wrote to the government seeking clarification on the issue. As of now, both the officers remain posted in the district hospital.

District in-charge Minister Eshwar Khandre maintains that the issue has been sorted out. “Health Department secretary Shalini Rajneesh has confirmed to me that the hospital will remain under the Health and Family Welfare Department. In order to ensure coordination, the district surgeon, who belongs to the Health Department, will report to the BRIMS director,” he said.

However, teachers in the medical college say this system may not work well. The government has announced that it will increase the intake of BRIMS from 100 to 150. “To seek permission to do so from the Medical Council of India (MCI), the government needs to prove we have a 750-bed hospital. The district hospital has 300 beds and the new hospital building has place for 450 beds. Therefore, we need to pool these beds and present our case before the MCI. If one hospital runs under the college and the other under the Health Department, our case may be weakened,” a senior professor said.

When asked about this, Mr. Khandre said he was aware of the issue. “I will hold detailed discussions with the Health Minister and Medical Education Minister Sharan Prakash Patil and make the arrangements to ensure we are prepared for the MCI inspection,” he said.

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