As COVID-19 cases continued to surge in Tamil Nadu, the government on Wednesday announced recruitment of 2,800 plus medical personnel including over 1,200 doctors and ramping up bed capacity in Chennai's government sector hospitals to 10,000.
The government also said a reconciliation committee was set up to look into claims of discrepancies in COVID-19 deaths.
Against the background of the recent appointment of 530 doctors, 4,893 nurses, 1,508 lab technicians and 2,715 health inspectors, Health Minister C Vijayabaskar announced appointment of 574 postgraduates (Non Service Postgraduates) at a monthly salary of Rs 75,000.
Vijayabaskar said Chief Minister K Palaniswami has also ordered the appointment of 665 more doctors (graduates), 365 lab technicians and 1,230 multipurpose health personnel. Their appointment will be for three months and contractual, he said, adding orders were being issued and they are in the process of joining duty.
The initiative would help lower the work burden of doctors, nurses and other health personnel and improve the COVID-19 treatment amenities, he said.
Health Secretary Beela Rajesh meanwhile told reporters that beds in government sector hospitals in Chennai, will be increased to 10,000 from about 5,000.
The state government had on Monday asserted that there were sufficient beds for COVID-19 patients in government private hospitals and said a portal would be launched to provide information on occupancy and vacancy.
As per government data, there are 4,900 beds when the capacity in four medical college hospitals and an ESI hospitalâ€”all in Chennaiâ€”are taken into account.
Following claims of discrepancies reportedly in the register of COVID-19 deaths of Greater Chennai Corporation and state government's health authorities, Beela Rajesh said a 'reconciliation committee' has been set up comprising doctors from Directorate of Medical and Rural Health Services and Directorate of Medical Education and the city corporation, to look into the matter.
Following reconciliation, the figures will be made available, she said. The reconciliation initiative also comes in the wake of a complaint by an NGO to the government claiming that three COVID-19 deaths were so far not reported by the health department.