Andhra Pradesh: Medical staff frustrated with targets

RAJAHMUNDRY: Government medical officers working in primary health centres are up against the non-medical administrative heads in the districts and also at the state for subjecting them to severe stress by fixing irrational targets and serving charge memos for failing to realise the targets. 

Recently Krishna district collector Mr B. Lakshmi Kantham instructed district medical and health officer Dr Padmaja Rani to serve charge memos to nine medical officers as they had failed to realise the fixed targets.

Medical officers complain that they are supposed to ensure implementation of nearly 30 health schemes initiated by both the Centre and the state government in addition to taking care of the primary health centre. 

Attending the out-patient ward, providing treatment, taking care of deliveries, attending to victims of minor accidents, conducting family planning operations as per target are all part of their regular duties. 

The frequent tele-conferences, set-conferences and review meetings by district collectors or sub collectors/RDOs or routine departmental review meetings and other meetings is making it even more difficult for the medical officers and other health staff to attend to their regular work to fulfill their targets. 

The paramedical staff are also being used for several other related work including implementation of health schemes, carrying out health surveys, publicising health schemes and programmes and also being made to attend public meetings addressed by the Chief Minister and ministers leaving them little time to attend to their regular work. 

Organising frequent health camps also engage the health staff further. 

Medical officers say that as per the hierarchy, there is a health visitor, health supervisor, public health nurse (female), multi-purpose health extension officer (male and female) and community health officer (gazetted rank). They allege that medical officers are being made responsible for everything that happens in the purview of a PHC without taking into consideration that they have to depend upon how the paramedical staff working under their control functions.

Doctors want uniform retirement age for UG/PG
Government doctors have appealed to the state government to fix a uniform retirement age without showing any discrimination based on their academic qualification.

At present, government doctors with an MBBS degree will retire at the age of 60 years while those having post-graduation medical degree will retire at 63 years. The Centre has revised the retirement age for its doctors to 65 years.

The government doctors say that after entering into government service at a young age with MBBS degree, barring some, most of them hardly find time to pursue higher studies as they get involved in the implementation of several government schemes with targeted results and also have to cope with shortage of doctors. By the time, they get more experience and expertise, they are being relieved from the duty as they attain the age of 60 years.

The government recr-uits young MBBS doctors on contract basis to fill the void and the young doctors who are conscious about their career advancement soon go for higher studies.

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