UP doctors' dilemma over Minister's surprise checks


Lucknow, May 22 : Some call it the doctors' dilemma and others term it as an excuse, but the fact remains that government doctors are facing turbulent times these days. Uttar Pradesh Minister for health, Brijesh Pathak is in a proactive mode. He is raiding hospitals, posing as an ordinary patient to get a feel of things, interacting with patients and then cracking down on doctors in hospitals. He conducted a raid at the Uttar Pradesh Medicine Supply Corporation warehouse and recovered expired medicines worth Rs 16 crore in Lucknow. The minister is also setting up inquiries with a vengeance. "It is a no-win situation for us. The minister publicly slams us for the prevailing conditions, but has no time to hear out the problems we face. There are no medicines in hospitals and patients create a ruckus when we tell them to make purchases from outside. There is also an acute shortage of medical and para-medical staff. What is urgently needed is a non-medical administrator in every government hospital to supervise things," said a senior doctor at the Civil hospital. The civil hospital doctors were at the receiving end during the minister's visit when he found that the wheelchairs were in a deplorable condition. In another raid at midnight, he pulled up doctors for not admitting patients. The doctors at the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital are also upset at the manner in which the minister overturned the decision to ban intrusion of mediapersons in hospital wards. "We have self-styled medical reporters moving around in wards, interviewing patients and then seeking explanation from doctors about the line of treatment. This not only hampers our working, but is also unacceptable," said a senior doctor. The minister, when informed of the 'draconian ban', immediately called up concerned officials and asked them to withdraw the order. "The minister is now a media darling but we would like to know how he would feel if one of his kin is subjected to 'a parallel treatment' by media persons?" asked another doctor. Doctors at government hospitals say that while the government has worked towards improving the health infrastructure, there is still much lacking. "Compared to the rush of patients in the government hospitals, the infrastructure is grossly inadequate. There is no control over private hospitals and their high charges make patients throng the government hospitals. The government would do better to impose restrictions on private hospitals that are overcharging and making money at the cost of patients," said a senior doctor at the Balrampur hospital. /IANS


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