JAMMU, July 16: Taking serious note of shortage of doctors in Jammu region especially in Super Specialty Hospital (SSH) of Government Medical College (GMC), Union Minister of State in PMO with independent charge of North Eastern States, Dr Jitendra Singh today said that this way “we may end up in opening a sick AIIMS in Jammu.”
The Union Minister was speaking at a function at GMC auditorium here today which among others was attended by Health and Medical Education Minister, Bali Bhagat, Commis-sioner/ Secretary, Health and Medical Education, Dr Pawan Kotwal and Principal GMC, Sundanda Raina in connection with the launch of Cornea Andhatv Mukt Bharat Abhiyan (CAMBA). The function was jointly organized by SAKSHAM and National Medicos Organization in collaboration with Eye Bank of GMC Jammu.
He said while the AIIMS all over the country have been opened for treatment of sick “I apprehend that we may end up with opening of a sick AIIMS in Jammu”. To overcome this problem, he added, conditions should be created to attract good faculty by providing them incentives and other facilities.
Dr Jitendra Singh said to overcome the shortage of doctors and faculty in the hospitals of the State including GMCs and SSH “we can have good and dedicated faculty from outside also to provide best possible medicare facilities and treatment to the patients admitted in these hospitals instead creating barriers in their way. By creating barriers and hurdles in their as well as those passing out medicos from GMCs of the State the outsiders are not willing to serve here while the passing outs also migrate outside the State for good opportunities”.
The Union Minister said “what is the fun of opening the new Medical Colleges and hospitals when we face shortage of doctors and faculty in existing hospitals especially in SSH”. Stressing on having a pragmatic approach to tackle the problem, Dr Jitendra Singh said that lack of faculty is a cause of concern and the main reason is that “we don’t allow outsiders to work here because we think that Constitution will be in danger”.
Referring to Maharaja Hari Singh’s vision in this regard, he said after the retirement of Sir Ram Nath Chopra from Bengal, the Maharaja brought him here to open the Regional Research Laboratory in Jammu without disturbing the Constitution. That institute is now named as IIIM a branch of CSIR, he added.
It may be recalled that Excelsior had recently come out with a story about the shortage of doctors in Jammu region and particularly in SSH of GMC, where out of 178 posts of doctors, 128 are lying vacant.
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The Union Minister said that one third of Indian population didn’t have access to Hospital bed and the Government of India has come out with a scheme to start the peripheral hospitals to overcome this problem. He made it clear that every thing can’t be left to Government alone and stressed on private public partnership in opening of Hospitals.
On the launch of CAMBA to control blindness, he said there should be three level approach one is at faculty level dealing with research etc, second is policy makers including administration level and third is private public cooperation. The Union Minister said there is mushrooming of private Sector in the country and we should have a policy for them. “Whenever they open a new hospital in a city or urban area the condition should be laid to set up a small hospital in remote area also”, he added.
Maintaining that “we are living in a well connected world”, he said it is the India of 2017 where the population of youth is 65 percent so proper care of their aspirations has to be taken as we can’t befool them any more now.
Admitting that eye banks were opened almost in every State, Dr Jitendra Singh said J&K, HP and eight North Eastern States are still without this facility. The administration of these States can’t be blamed for the same because priorities for them were different.
He said the people of country wish to donate eyes but we can’t provide them the resources. “Those who had privilege of donating eyes in metro cities, did it but those who did not have, could not do,” he added.
He, however, said that SAKSHAM can take a lead in this regard saying that in every sector you can’t blame the Government. He said in NE, there is open public private partnership.
On blindness, he said one of the most causes for preventable causes of blindness is diabetes because you have not been able to provide pre-emptive follow up due to certain reasons. The cause can be economic factors, social and family problems, he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Health and Medical Education, Bali Bhagat said that eye bank in GMC Jammu will be opened in a month or so. He said it has been already opened in GMC Srinagar and efforts are on to open it here too.
He said the State may get benefitted with the SAKSHAM programme and “we are looking how the Cornea transplant can be possible and for this equipment in GMC Jammu has to be arranged.” He said 15 million people in India suffer from blindness and 82 percent from them come from poor family background. To overcome this problem an awareness needs to be made among people, he added.
In his address, Dr Pawan Kotwal, Commissioner/ Secretary Health and Medical Education also stressed on creating awareness on blood collection in the State. He said J&K Organ Transplant Act is in existence and a Committee needs to be framed which can leagalise the organ transplantation.
Stressing on taking many precautions, he said an HIV patients Cornea can’t be transplanted and for organ transplantation an appropriate Authority has to be constituted to legalize the process.
He also assured full support to SAKSHAM in creating awareness regarding eye donation. Principal GMC Dr, Sunanda Raina proposed the vote of thanks.
Others who spoke included Sumit Sabharwal, president National Medical Organisation ,Prem Sagar Gupta, president, SAKSHAM, Dr Shiv Kumar, All India organizing secretary, SAKSHAM and Dr Santosh, its national Executive Member.