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TB

The civic-run Sewri Tuberculosis (TB) Hospital has been facing a shortage of staff and resident doctors. Major surgeries have been pending since the past few months.

According to experts, fear of contracting the infection is the main reason why young doctors do not want to work at the TB Hospital.

Dr Lalitkumar Anande, Medical Superintendent, Sewri TB Hospital, said, “Doctors who come here to serve mandatory bond, resign after one-and-half-month. Their parents force them to resign and ask them not to work in a TB hospital. A lot of doctors have told me the same.”

A few doctors have also lost their life after getting infected. The fear still lingers on in the minds of young doctors. Many of them choose to work in other hospitals once they complete their studies.

Dr Anande informed, “The sanctioned strength of the hospital is 44, but, currently only 14 resident doctors are providing services here. Doctors give vague reasons and remain absent on work. So, during the day we have eight or nine doctors working here. So, actually one doctor attends to 72 patients.”

The situation is very grim and this has affected the patient services at the hospital. Even those resident doctors who are working in the hospital are leaving their service mid-way as their parents do not want them to work at the hospital.

“The government had issued a GR, that postgraduate doctors should work in TB hospital. But, when MBBS doctors are not working here. Why will postgraduates doctors work here? The government should provide attractive incentives to doctors.”

Dr Anande explained, “MDR and XDR tuberculosis are rising. Owing to which, the doctors are not ready to offer their services in the TB hospital. Mumbai’s TB hospital witnesses 250 patients during the OPD days and, 650 patients are currently undergoing treatment in the hospital.”

My Medical Mantra spoke to a few doctors and asked them about their opinions. Here’s what they had to say:

Dr Daksha Shah, Head of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporations (BMC) TB control unit, said, “As MDR and XDR tuberculosis cases are increasing, doctors fear that they would also get contacted with TB. Owing to which, they don’t offer their services to the TB patients. In order to attract doctors to work in TB hospital, special facilities should be provided to them. The BMC will surely look into this.”

The state government needs to provide better incentives so that more doctors can work in the civic-run TB Hospital.

Dr Rajendra Nanavare, a chest specialist, “It is a grim reality that doctors don’t want to serve in TB hospitals. And the main reason is, the remuneration which they are paid is far too low compared to the other government hospitals. If the state wants to attract doctors, then it should pay decent remuneration to the doctors.”

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