Tough to get specialist doctors, PMC mulls contract option

PMC admitted that manpower shortage was among the reasons hampering its ambitious programme to privatise civic hospitals & dispensaries

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), struggling to find specialist doctors to fill permanent posts at its 15 civic hospitals, is now looking at contractual appointments to improve health services.

When contacted, acting chief medical officer of PMC Dr S T Pardeshi told Newsline that they were able to fill 100 posts of medical officers and have conducted several interviews for Class III and IV staff. There are over 200 government-approved posts that have to be filled up and PMC's health department hopes to strengthen quality of care and services at its hospitals with a strong medical staff.

It is the post of some 28-30 specialist doctors that proved to be a tough task to fill.

"We need specialists like radiologists, paediatricians, orthopaedic surgeons, gynaecologists and others," Dr Sunil Tore, Assistant medical Officer, PMC said.

All specialist doctors will be rank-one officers who will also provide extra services such as neonatal intensive care in other hospitals. Already, four advertisements have been placed in newspapers inviting applications. Incentives like a salary of Rs 50,000 and above have been offered to specialist doctors. With barely five applicants responding to the ads, the PMC is now considering appointment of specialists on contract. In fact, in a reply to an RTI query by civic activist Vihar Durve, the PMC had admitted that manpower shortage was among the reasons hampering its ambitious programme to privatise civic hospitals/dispensaries.

Till date, the PMC has allotted two of its clinics/hospitals to be managed by various private organisations-like Dr Dalvi Hospital, Phadnis Clinic and Sahyadri Hospital-on a Build Operate and Transfer basis.

Now a new committee has been set up to chalk out terms and conditions before five of its civic hospitals are allotted to private parties to manage patientcare and services. "We will give hospitals to private parties on BOT basis and a committee has been appointed to look into this issue," Pardeshi said.

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