“The posts have been lying vacant at the peripheral hospitals for several months now. Staff shortage is not seen in teaching hospitals because the dean ensures that all posts are filled. However, in peripheral hospitals, the medical superintendent doesn’t have such authority. As a result, these hospitals are being neglected even though they get a bulk of the city’s patient load,” said BJP corporator Vinod Shelar, who recently brought up the issue in the civic general body meeting.
Shelar said one of the reasons that the posts are vacant is that they belong to the reserved category, which are not getting filled. “If reserved category posts are not getting filled, the general category posts need to be increased. On one hand people are scavenging for jobs and here posts are not getting filled. At the end of it all, it is the patients who suffer the most with sub-standard treatment,” he said.
BMC Executive Health Officer Dr A Bamne, however, said the process of filling up the posts of the nursing staff is on the verge of completion. “We had extensively advertised for applicants a month ago and interviews for the same have already been conducted. The selection process is also complete; some paperwork is remaining and the staff is expected to join the peripheral hospitals from next week,” he said.
“As far as filling up posts of lab technicians is concerned, the number was very meagre. That will be done soon,” he added.
D ward grapples with similar problem
The civic body is not just struggling with staff shortage in hospitals. Information sought by Congress corporator Noshir Mehta revealed that 189 official posts are lying vacant in the D ward. Politically important regions like Raj Bhavan, August Kranti Maidan and the iconic Opera House come under this ward. The figures revealed that the departments of water, sewerage, solid waste management and health were grossly short-staffed. These posts included peons and engineers.