Faced with a severe shortage of doctors and other allied staff at government hospitals, the Andhra government has decided to lease out district hospitals and AP Vaidya Vidhana Parishad hospitals to the corporate sector.
The Chittoor Government General Hospital (CGGH), which has been facing difficulties over the years, has been leased out to the Apollo Group for 33 years, and the contract could be extended later. However, there is no clarity yet on the terms of the contract.
Poonam Malakondaiah, Principal Secretary (health and family welfare) said that the government wanted to refine the recruitment process and soon she would visit CGGH to provide clarity on the guidelines as to whose directions the staff will have to follow.
Despite the health minister assuring the doctorsâ€™ recruitment would take place soon, around 40 nurse posts, 99 Class-IV employee posts, 30 paramedical and around 100 doctors positionsâ€™ are vacant.
The Deccan Chronicle reported:
â€śMany government hospitals are also not receiving required medicines. All these are an indication of government hospitals becoming referral hospitals to the corporates, according to doctors. However, Poonam Malakondaiah has clearly stated that the corporate body canâ€™t play any role in the management of the government hospital to which the private medical college is attached.
Dr Ambati Naga Radhakrishna, co-chairman, PCC Doctorsâ€™ Cell questioned the delay in recruitment process and said that the government hospitals in the district headquarters can become attachments to the private or corporate medical colleges, which in long turn hamper the social responsibility of the structure of the government.