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Patients at risk as MBMC hospital runs sans anesthetist!

Friday, December 07, 2018
By Suresh Golani

The shortage of anesthetists has adversely impacted maternal and child healthcare facilities in the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) run-Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi (Tembha) hospital in Bhayandar.

The hospital, which boasts of providing maternity facilities, including free Cesarean births, is functioning sans a full time anesthetist. The shocking reality came to light after the kin of a pregnant woman had a harrowing time at the hospital as the on-duty doctor refused to attend her until being paid Rs 5,000 to summon a private anesthetist needed to conduct the Cesarean section.

Stung by the staff crunch, the civic administration has roped in 23 medical practitioners, including nine gynecologists’ and five anesthetists, who are empanelled from the private health care sector and are paid Rs 2,000 per call towards honorarium in exchange for their services.

It is learned that owing to the petty remuneration, the on-call anesthetist’s avoid rendering their services in the early morning and late night hours. According to civic officials, a proposal to hike the honorarium mooted by them was rejected by the health committee.

"We will once again try to seek a nod of the committee ensuring upward revision in the honorarium at par with the government guidelines," said a health officer.

With an average occupancy rate of 65 per cent, the 100-bed hospital is not only ill-equipped but is facing an acute staff crunch posing immense difficulties to patients. The worst-hit are those from the economically weaker sections, who cannot afford treatment at private hospitals.

Na ghar ka, na ghat ka!
The saying: Na ghar ka, na ghat ka (Neither here, nor there) aptly suits the condition of the MBMC. The municipal hospital has been elevated to the status of a state-run sub-district entity, but the government’s health department, apart from appointing a couple of doctors, has done little to expand and upgrade services and is mysteriously shying to take over the reins of the establishment in totality. It has been alleged that the hospital had become more of a referral center due to the shortage of staff.

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