Evening Clinics: 'How many hours are doctors to work?'

Telangana director of medical education said evening clinics must be started as patients from rural and semi-urban areas waited for two days to consult.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  22 July 2022 10:42 AM GMT
Evening Clinics: How many hours are doctors to work?

Hyderabad: Junior doctors in Telangana are objecting to the state's proposal to start evening clinics in government hospitals. Evening clinics of out-patient departments are to start from 4 p.m to 6 p.m, according to an order issued on 22 July.

The Telangana director of medical education has said that evening clinics must be started as health minister Harish Rao has noticed that many patients from rural and semi-urban areas have to wait for two days to consult and get diagnostic results.

In a review meeting held by the minister with senior officials, it was noted that people were forced to stay in the city and spend money out of their pockets as they are unable to seek appointments on the day they arrive.

To ensure that their time is not wasted, the director ordered that tokens for out-patient department should be given from 7.30 a.m. Morning out-patient department must start at 9 a.m and close only when the last patient has been attended to.

The evening clinics must start from 4 p.m to 6 pm.

Osmania General Hospital and Gandhi Hospital out-patient departments see about 1,000 patients every day. The evening clinics are for patients who could not be attended to during the morning hours.

Junior doctors, however, are not happy about this decision as the burden of attending to the patients at evening clinics falls on them.

Healthcare Reforms Association president Dr. Mahesh Kumar says, "According to the order of 2006, the time between 2 p.m and 4 p.m is for academic works and research. If evening clinics are going to be started who will attend to those patients? Will the senior doctors be at the hospital till that time?"

The junior doctors elaborate on their schedule:

· 9 a.m to 2 p.m is for clinical work (morning out-patient and rounds of wards).

· 2 p.m to 4 p.m is for academic and research work.

· 4 p.m to 6 p.m is for clinical work (evening out-patient and attending to patients in the wards).

How many hours are doctors to work? they ask.

There are a total of 1,400 vacancies in teaching staff and there is also a shortage of senior residents. Doctors say the burden is high at all levels as vacancies are not filled and a large number of patients come from different districts for treatment.

To ease the burden and provide better service, there is a need to appoint more doctors and create better infrastructure to cater to the increasing demand of patients, they add.

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