Out of 69 sanctioned strength, 38 slots vacant: Officials
Srinagar, Aug 26 :
Amid the increasing number of drug abusers in Jammu & Kashmir, the authorities have decided to curtail multiple services including stopping the de-addiction Indoor Patients Department (IPD) IPD services at Community General Hospital Unit SMHS.
The officials at Government Psychiatric Diseases Hospital Srinagar told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that they were forced to take such kind of steps due to poor response from authorities to look into the issue of manpower shortage as out of 69 sanctioned strength, 38 are lying vacant.
They said the service will remain stopped till the manpower crisis is not resolved. Only severely sick patients will be admitted in the hospital, they added.
Government Psychiatric Diseases Hospital Srinagar recently called a meeting presided over by Head of Department Psychiatry Prof Dr Mohammad Maqbool Dar in which various decisions were taken. The meeting was called to discuss the fallout of the cessation of services of 28 personnel engaged under National Mental Health Program from 1st September and contingency measures to be taken thereof.
The meeting was attended by Prof Dr Arshid Hussain, Prof Dr Zaid Ahmad Wani, Prof Dr Yasir Hassan Rather, Dr Ajaz Ahmad Baba and Dr Syed Abinah Nawaz.
The Medical Superintendent detailed the deficiency of the staff due to unfilled and vacant positions, especially those of the multi-tasking staff whose sanctioned strength is 69, out of which only 31 posts are filled while 38 posts are vacant. The impact of the cessation of services of 28 personnel engaged under National Mental Health Programme in the backdrop of the already existing deficiency of staff was discussed threadbare.
It was discussed that the issue of a severe shortage of staff and the impending crises due to the cessation of these personnel have already been flagged, and the Principal, Dean, Government Medical College, Srinagar as well as the higher authorities have been apprised of the same; while waiting for positive response regarding mitigation of the crises. It was decided in the meeting that certain contingency measures have become unavoidable and need to be instituted to tailor the services provided to the available manpower so that patient care in essential areas will be least affected.
After discussing the issue of acute manpower, it was decided to stop de-addiction IPD services at Community General Hospital Unit, SMHS Complex from 1st September. OPD services including de-addiction and General Psychiatry, etc will be stopped at CGHU.
In order to optimise the patient care services, the IPD services at Government Psychiatric Diseases will be catered to at Government Psychiatric Disease Hospital Srinagar (Main Hospital) at Rainawari. Only severely sick patients will be admitted.
The Electro Convulsive Therapy services at Government Psychiatric Diseases Hospital Srinagar will be restricted to only three days per week. Besides, the MRD section at the hospital will remain functional till 5 pm only as used to be the practice before the hiring of personnel under National Mental Health Programme. Manual OPD tickets will be kept available with the emergency staff for emergency patients.
These measures, as per the hospital management, are deemed necessary so that the services are optimized and there is no dilution of patient care in the case of severely sick patients. The meeting concluded with the resolve that the issue of shortage of manpower will again be raised with the concerned authorities and pursued with vigor—(KNO)