Thiruvananthapuram: Coming as it is ahead of monsoon, Nipah virus has put huge pressure on the health authorities to put in place elaborate facilities in medical college hospitals and institutions under the health service department.
The doctors at the Kozhikode medical college who are managing the patients in isolation wards are discharging duties continuously for hours together. It is under these circumstances that health experts have demanded deployment of more doctors to ensure that there are enough people to relieve those on duty.
The Nipah virus has affected the state at a time when medical college hospitals are facing severe shortage of doctors. Most medical colleges are functioning with the strength sanctioned in 1965. Barring few additions here and there, there has not been much change in the staff strength over the past 58 years.
There have been demands for sanctioning more posts at the level of assistant and associate professors. Besides hitting the patient and outpatient wings, the shortage of doctors had also adversely affected the expansion programme connected with organ transplant projects in government medical sector.
Health experts say with the monsoon expected to hit the Kerala coast on May 29, the state is likely to witness a spurt in the cases of communicable disease including vector borne and water borne disease.
Most medical college hospitals are bursting at the seams. Kozhikode Medical College hospital which is currently bearing the burden of Nipah virus, is also understaffed. The gap between the sanctioned and existing strength of doctors is as high as 100 in many medical colleges. Some of these hospitals are working with a staff strength sanctioned 50 years ago. Experts say the government needs to sanction more posts at the level of assistant, assistant professor level at the earliest to meet the patient load.