Visakhapatnam: Trauma centres, 13 in all, in Andhra Pradesh have failed to fully serve their purpose due to the acute shortage of medical professionals and auxiliary staff.
The state government has failed to provide the necessary manpower they require even as road accidents on national and state highways in the state rise.
Trauma Care Centres (TCC) are equipped to handle critical accident cases and provide specialised medical services and resources to patients suffering from trauma injuries to reduce death or permanent disability.
TCCs in government hospitals, such as King George Hospital (KGH), Vizag, Guntur Government Hospital (GGH), Guntur, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Srikakulam and in Ongole, and other hospitals require over 350 staff members, including specialist physicians, neurosurgeons, orthopaedic surgeons, anaesthetists, radiologists and paramedics to run these centres effectively.
A majority of the posts have been vacant at TCCs in Kurnool, Nellore and Rajahmundry. The current sanctioned strength at TCCs in the state is over 700, but the existing strength is about 370.
Among all the TCCs in the state, one in Vizag and one in Srikakulam were rated at Level-B, the rest earning C ratings and no centre in AP getting an A rating, said a senior surgeon with a TCC in Vizag.
In most emergency cas-es, the authorities of KGH, GGH, RIMS-Srikak-ulam and other hospitals shift the staff at the hospitals to the TCCs to take care of the patients which adversely affects the hospital’s functioning, said former superintendent of KGH K.M. Babu. “Due to shortage of staff we are failing to do our best to run the centres, and sometimes, the patients’ suffering is aggravated.
Though we have written to the health minister and others, so far we have had no hopes of acquiring more manpower,” said TCC staff on condition of anonymity. “Each TCC can, on average, handle 20 to 30 road accidents a day. But the shortage of staff in these centres has not only hit the services to patients, but also over-burdened the existing staff, who are getting paid low salaries,” they added....