New medical colleges being opened in Hamirpur, Chamba, Mandi and Sirmaur districts are taking their toll on zonal hospitals. Many specialists from the Dharamsala Zonal Hospital have been shifted to new medical colleges, crippling the services here.
In the Medicine Department, there were six sanctioned posts of MD doctors. However, there is one medicine specialist the hospital and he also was on leave. The Surgery Department has one doctor against three vacancies while in the Gynaecology Department, there is one doctor against three sanctioned posts, who is on camp duties and there is no one to attend to patients. There is one pediatrician against three sanctioned posts and no skin specialist despite the fact that there are two sanctioned posts. Two doctors of the ENT Department have to serve in emergency due to shortage of doctors and their OPD is mostly closed. The only orthopedic surgeon is on government duties or away for medico-legal cases and operation theater has been closed .
Highly placed sources said most of the doctors from the Zonal Hospital were shifted to new medical colleges coming up in the state due to MCI inspections. Senior doctors said there was no fun in opening new medical colleges when even the established medical colleges like the Tanda medical college and IGMC were facing shortage of specialists.
Former minister and senior BJP leader Kishan Kapoor, has, alleged that 11 doctors were transferred from Dharamsala Zonal Hospital that had adversely affected the working of the hospital. Most of the patients coming to Dharamsala were being referred to the Tanda medical college, he alleged.
Kapoor also alleged that medicines worth crores were being purchased for hospitals and dispensaries in Kangra district despite the fact that there were no doctors to recommend them. The result was that the public money being spent on purchasing medicines was going waste and medicines were expiring in godowns of the Health Department, he said. Kapoor said the CM had announced that Dharamsala was officially the second capital of the state. “However, the condition of basic health services illustrated that the announcement of the government was a mere statement,” Kapoor said, he further added that the government had announced many new health institutions in Kangra district and upgradation of existing hospitals. However, all this was being done without recruiting new doctors. The result was that the facilities in the existing health institutions were worsening.