Chennai: Pointing out that human resources are an essential part of the government health sector, the Service Doctors and Post Graduates Association (SDPGA) has expressed dissatisfaction over the recent announcement of the budget by the Health Department that placed more importance on infrastructure and technical issues.
SDPGA’s president P Saminathan said the announcements primarily concentrated on the improvement of the civil and technical infrastructure of the health sector. The association found the budget to be unsatisfactory and disappointing as there is no investment in human resources.
Human resources include UG, PG, Specialist doctors, staff nurses and paramedical staff and for the basic development of the health sector investment in these human resources part is essential.
Talking to Medical Dialogues, Dr P. Saminathan stated, ” We, Tamil Nadu doctors are underpaid and overworked. Since the last two years, there has been no proportionate increase in the workforce. In 2008, many advanced medical facilities and procedures were available in the hospitals and circumstances public were given some insurance cards which helped them to seek those services from outside. Now government hospitals are providing high-end facilities. But there has been no significant development in the workforce. One doctor is forced to do the work of two or three medical professionals. If this continues to happen the quality of work will also be affected. The workforce should be proportionate to patient footfall.”
“It may seem that the number of doctors has increased over the last few years but the number of government medical colleges has also increased from 16 to 36 since 2000. The number of primary healthcare centres has also increased by 40% but there has been no proportionate increase in the workforce,” he added.
While the doctor lauded some of the initiatives of the government like making introducing the sports medicine department and ensuring more research activities under the Director of Medical Education, the association pointed out that additional posts should be introduced in order to do so.
Explaining the situation more, the doctor pointed out that COVID has dynamically changed the behaviour of the common man. Now even middle-class and wealthy families are considering government medical colleges for treatment considering that they are offering difficult surgeries and it’s way cheaper than private facilities.
” What central MBBS and MD/MS doctors get as grade pay only after 5 to 6 years of working the state doctors have to work 20 years for that. We get half of the HRA of central employees. We are not allowed to continue private practice outside work. Hence often private facilities face difficulty in finding specialised doctors. Hence, the pressure on the government health sector is increasing day by day. We are requesting the government to take the necessary steps to ensure the sufficient flow of the workforce. We will be submitting a letter to the authorities in this regard very soon,” added Dr P. Saminathan.