A senior resident doctor from the Osmania General Hospital claimed that while Gandhi Hospital and Osmania General Hospital were equipped with specialist doctors, the other hospitals lacked them. (Representational Image/ DC File)
Hyderabad: The public healthcare system in the city is beset by a severe shortage of specialist doctors at several government hospitals, which could gravely compromise a patient’s ability to receive adequate treatment and medical care.
Sources claim that the government's delay in appointing assistant professors at the government hospitals has made the issue worse. There are over 1,300 assistant professor posts vacant in the state, and the government has not yet released any notifications to fill these posts.
Further, the unequal distribution of specialist doctors in the government hospitals seems to have made the matters worse. In Vanasthalipuram, for instance, the Area Hospital has three radiologists, which is more than the hospital needs considering the volume of patients it handles. Ironically, the Osmania General Hospital, the largest government hospital in the city, which treats between 2,000 and 3,000 patients each day, lacks even a single radiologist.
The paediatric ICU department of Area Hospital in Kondapur is understaffed with specialists. As a result, anytime a patient needs services from the paediatric ICU, the Area Hospital directs them to Niloufer Hospital. An official from Niloufer Hospital said that while vacancies in the paediatric department at the city government hospitals were mainly filled, specialists from Niloufer were being deputed to maternity hospitals in Petla Burj and Sultan Bazaar as there were some vacancies.
Further, the official noted that every hospital had at least one paediatrician, and that tertiary cases were sent to Niloufer and Gandhi Hospitals for treatment.
A senior resident doctor from the Osmania General Hospital claimed that while Gandhi Hospital and Osmania General Hospital were equipped with specialist doctors, the other hospitals lacked them.
The doctor stated that the only way to resolve the problem was to fill the vacancies because doctors cannot be transferred from one hospital to another.
Dr. Srinivas Gundagani, the convener of the resident doctors' association, claims that the role of most specialist doctors was being filled by doctors who had completed their broad speciality or super-speciality medical courses and are serving in Telangana as part of the mandatory two-year bond. Fresh medical graduates from broad specialties must serve for a year, while those from super specialties must serve for two years.
Dr Gundagani claimed that almost every post in multiple departments such as cardiology or neurology was filled by fresh medical graduates.
"The vacancies for assistant professors need to be filled up so that experienced specialists will be available in government hospitals. This has been a long-standing demand by several medical associations," he stated.