Odisha: A media report highlights the fact that even though the government has taken positive steps to establish 8 new trauma care centres in the state, however, the ones which have been established recently are not operational yet. On-ground facts confirm that these 8 units have not been functional because of reported manpower shortage and lack of equipment.
The health ministry has established the new centres with the prime objective to bring down the road accident fatality (with Odisha as one state). It is aiming at a 10 per cent death, to be achieved through development of a pan-India trauma network. Expansion of trauma care centre network will ensure that accident victims are not required to be transported more than 50 km.
Odisha is reported to have initiated setting up of centres at SCB Medical College and Hospital, MKCG Medical College and Hospital, besides others.
However, a ground check throws light on the fact that different centres at each medical college hospital are only half way through. The 21-bed trauma care centre at the SCB is one of them. MKCG centre is not yet functional, even though the building was constructed in March, 2009.
Sources have implied that there is staff shortage, including doctors and paramedical staff. This has led to a situation of accident victims being rushed to other locations. In such situations, patients are usually taken to Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh or to Bhubaneswar.
Each centre, according to central guidelines, should have eight senior resident doctors, six ICU medical officers, four pharmacists and 18 staff nurses. “But no senior resident doctors are interested to work here. The Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC) had published an advertisement for posting of six senior resident doctors at this centre twice. But there were no respondents,” said MKCG superintendent Ashok Kumar Behera to the media.
MKCG head of surgery Rasananda Mangual implied that the medical college hospital has been receiving almost 15 to 20 accident victims for surgery every day. With trauma care centres not operating, it is the patients who suffer the most.
One senior resident doctor requesting anonymity implied that doctors are not interested in being posted at the trauma care centre as they do not get an opportunity to be promoted as assistant professors then. A senior resident doctor is eligible to become an assistant professor if he/she works in a GMC for 3 years. This is as per the MCI norms.
VIMSAR in Bural also faces a similar crisis situation. The 20-bed trauma centre is ready, yet medical officers for the ICU, anaesthetist, orthopaedic specialist, neurosurgeon and a specialist in general surgery are yet to be appointed,” said nodal officer of the trauma care centre B. Sahu to the media.
There is still some good news pouring in for the institute, with the six-month long agitation of Junior Doctors’ Association (JDA) coming to end after an MRI scanner and a LED photo therapy equipment has been installed at its premise. MRI is worth Rs 9 crore and LED Photo Therapy equipment is worth Rs 40 lakh.
“Earlier patients had to spend anything between Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,000 to get an MRI scan done in private nursing homes. Now it’s not going to happen. Several important tests pertaining to the brain tumor, spinal injuries, heart problems can be conducted here. Similarly, LED Photo Therapy equipment will be very helpful for treating newborns suffering from jaundice,” Shankar Ramchandani, president JDA said to Odishasuntimes.
However, there are still more district level hospitals where trauma care centres have been set up, but are yet to function due to lack of specialists. Rourkela Government Hospital is needs to appoint specialists in surgery, orthopaedics, anaesthesia and neurology. There is shortage of equipment in the trauma care centre at Balasore due to paucity of funds.
Chief district medical officer Bhabani Shankar Pani said to Telegraph: “We require at least Rs 2 crore for procuring machinery and equipment. We also need specialists in orthopaedics, cardiology and anaesthesia to run the unit.”
“We are waiting for the recruitment of 372 doctors through the OPSC. Required equipment are also being procured by the Odisha State Medicine Corporation,” said joint secretary in the health department Surajit Das.