Ahmedabad: Shortage of beds, doctors and distribution of sub-standard medicines at government hospitals ails the public health care system in Gujarat, according to a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
As many as 29 to 77 per cent posts of specialist doctors are lying vacant across 34 district hospitals (DHs) in the state, noted the CAG report which was tabled in Gujarat Assembly yesterday.
The situation is worst in Surendranagar, Godhra, Petlad and Vadodara which are facing over 60 per cent shortage of specialist doctors by the standards of Indian Public Health (IPH).
“Similarly, vacancies in the cadres of medical officers ranged between 7 and 69 per cent, staff nurses ranged between 7 and 72 per cent and para-medical and other staff ranged between 31 to 89 per cent,” stated the report.
As of March 2015, there were 898 vacancies in various cadres, including 214 specialist doctors (55 per cent of sanctioned strength) in the district hospitals. Such a level of shortage is worrisome, CAG said.
Due to the lack of doctors, high-end equipment at hospitals are lying idle and in some cases technicians operate them instead of specialist doctors, it said.
The report also expressed concern about the availability of beds — there are 13,833 beds in the district hospitals against the state’s population of 6.04 crore.
Availability of beds in Palanpur, Dahod and Surendranagar was less than 40 per cent of IPH standard. In many cases two patients were accommodated on one bed or the patients were put on the floor, CAG found during field visits.
The government should take steps to increase the bed capacity of DHs as per the IPH standard, so that affordable health care becomes available to the common man, CAG said.