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Deteriorating healthcare services

Ranchi, Feb. 24: RIMS director Tulsi Mahto did not attend work today, skipping a scheduled meeting with health secretary K. Vidyasagar to thrash out solutions to improve the fast deteriorating healthcare services on offer at the government hospital.

Mahto's decision to apply for leave took the hospital staff by surprise. No one in his office could elaborate on the reasons, but some said he had an "emergency" and was expected to be back on Monday.

Over the week, The Telegraph published a series reports on RIMS crumbling infrastructure, which together with poor medical services, had turned the state's premier hospital into a nightmare destination for hundreds of patients who came there for treatment from remote corners of Jharkhand.

The health secretary had summoned Mahto last night and today was supposed to be a follow-up meeting which would now have to be held later.

"I understand doctors are under extreme pressure. But this can't be an excuse when it concerns healthcare. I assure you the government will do everything to set things in order at RIMS," Vidyasagar told The Telegraph.

At last night's meeting, the health secretary revealed, Mahto admitted several lapses on the part of the hospital, but pleaded that several issues were beyond their control.

Vidyasagar, sources said, pointed to every report published by The Telegraph. He was particularly upset at the way a five-day-old baby was denied a stretcher trolley and had to be carried to a critical care unit on the third floor by her father while her uncle held the tubes connected to an oxygen cylinder. Initially, the director tried to say that since the baby was serious, they did not want to waste time looking for a trolley. But the secretary did not buy his excuse, prompting Mahto to apologise.

Vidyasagar said manpower crunch was at the root of all problems at RIMS and the reasons for that was poor salaries. "I have directed Mahto to come up with a detailed analysis of the required workforce." source-telegraphindia.com

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