Hospitals run with fewer workers

There may be no dearth of doctors in government hospitals in the city. But many of these institutions are short of hospital workers, claim doctors.

A hospital authority said several posts of barbers, cooks, washerman/woman, stretcher-bearers, lift operators and ward boys had remained vacant in government hospitals for years. “We keep reiterating the need to fill the vacant posts that have accumulated over the years, but officials pay no heed. As a result, we manage with the contract housekeeping workers for jobs like shifting patients on stretchers,” he said. A doctor in a government hospital said the number of doctors was reasonably good. “There are several vacancies in the allotted posts of hospital workers. Male and female nursing assistants are few in number. Attendants of patients mostly end up doing the job of taking them for a scan, other investigations, specialist opinions or transfers from wards, as there is a shortage of ward boys,” he said.These workers, including electricians and AC mechanics, were grossly inadequate in many hospitals, said another doctor. The government is filling up vacancies of staff nurses and nursing superintendents. “In the city, the need is adjusted through diverting staff nurses from one hospital to the institution that requires manpower. Posts of hospital workers should be filled at the earliest,” a staff nurse said. Health Minister C. Vijaya Baskar denied there was a shortage of hospital workers and said they continued filling up such posts including those of barber and dhobi.

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