Six-Member Panel to Study Issues at Family Health Centers

To study the practical difficulties being faced by medical practitioners at the newly upgraded family health centers (FHCs), a six-member committee has been constituted by the state government. The committee headed by National Health Mission (NHM)- Kerala director Kesavendra Kumar has Dr Jagadeesan, deputy director, Health Department, as its convener. It is learnt it forms part of the outcome of a meeting held between Health Minister K K Shailaja and Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association (KGMOA) representatives in April when the latter called for a non-cooperative strike citing anomalies with the implementation of the Aardram Mission. “There were complaints the medical practitioners attached with FHCs were facing certain difficulties. The committee has been constituted to look into their grievances and suggest scientific solutions,” an officer with the Health Department told Express.

The other members of the committee include Health Director Dr Saritha R L; Dr Jameela, consultant, NHM; Dr Raju, additional director, Health Department; and Dr Devkiran, member, Mission Monitoring Team (Ardram), Chief Minister’s Office. KGMOA state president Dr A K Rauf said it had already submitted a memorandum to the committee stating the difficulties medical practitioners had to face at newly upgraded FHCs. “It is a welcoming decision. This was one of the demands we raised when the state government invited us for a conciliatory talk during the strike called by us in April,” said Rauf. He said, “The strike was to bring the attention of the government towards the anomalies with the implementation of Aardram Mission and the practical difficulties a medical practitioner had to face while due to the upgradation of primary health centers as FHCs.”

According to him the conciliatory talks then were followed by seven key decisions that include the appointment of three doctors at FHCs, constituting a reserve pool of doctors managed by the respective District Medical Officers and District Program Managers and redeployment of staff from centers where staff strength is relatively high to centers which have high patient turnout. “Of the assurances, the constitution of the reserve pool of doctors and redeployment of staffs are yet to become a reality. There is also the issue of doctors being forced to compromise in their field works, including preventive programs like immunisation due to work overload,” said Rauf.

Who’s in the panel

Headed by NHM Kerala director Kesavendra Kumar, the body has Dr Jagadeesan, deputy director (Health), as convener. Health director Dr Saritha R L; Dr Jameela, consultant, NHM; Dr Raju, additional director (Health); and Dr Devkiran, member, mission monitoring team (Aardram), CMO are among the members. – New Indian Express

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