Naina Mishra

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13

The emergency medical officer at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMSH), Sector 32, was found busy with a mobile phone instead of attending to patients, drunkards were spotted outside oxygen plants and the X-ray machine at the ESI Hospital was not functional. This was the sight at city hospitals during a late night surprise visit by the UT Health Secretary.

Health Secretary Yashpal Garg conducted a surprise inspection at various hospitals under the UT Administration here from 11 pm last night.

During the three-hour long inspection, Garg strictly pointed out that the emergency medical officers (EMOs) should remain in emergency ward instead of retiring rooms, leaving behind the nursing staff/attendants.

The Health Secretary said there was a need to consider deputing senior doctors/consultants during night shifts at the GMCH-32 and GMSH-16. For this, the night duty roster being followed at the PGI and other premier medical institutions in other parts of the country should be implemented, he said.

A surprise inspection note was sent to all medical officers at the city government hospitals.

According to the note on the GMCH-32: “The supervisor of the security guards was quite busy surfing his mobile phone. He seemed to be least bothered about people coming in and going out of the emergency. The EMO was not available in the emergency. She was busy surfing her mobile phone in a nearby room.”

“The attendant was in the emergency with five-six persons, including one police official. None of them was wearing a face mask and they were busy in gossiping/cracking jokes,” read the inspection letter.

Giving an ultimatum to the medical officers, Garg said this being the first surprise inspection, there was no need to take any action against any of the officials on the basis of the inspection note. “However, it need not be interpreted as leniency because the undersigned is well aware about his authority to carry out the assigned responsibilities.” “There will be frequent surprise inspections and the same may be followed with appropriate actions,” the letter stated. He also said senior medical officers; Medical Superintendent; Director, Health Services; and Director Principal should also take surprise rounds during the night time.

“At the ESI Hospital in Ram Darbar, the X-ray machine was not functional for the past few days and one patient in the emergency had been asked to get the X-ray done from the GMCH. Plaster was coming out from the ceiling on one of the beds in the emergency and the patient was shifted to another bed,” Garg noticed during his visit.

The Health Secretary said though the staff at the ESI Hospital was not being paid by the UT Administration, there was need to apprise the authorities concerned about the plight of the outsourced staff waiting for their salary for the past more than six months.

Trespassing complaint filed

According to Health Secretary Yashpal Garg, five-six persons were taking liquor in front of the oxygen plant at the GMCH-32. Garg has written to the SSP, Chandigarh, seeking action against them. He urged the police to take action against the unidentified persons for trespassing. Their car registration numbers have been provided to the police. Garg also directed the officials that there was a need to check the entry of such persons into the hospital premises.

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