Spread over 106 acres, the Government Medical College, Banda, built as per the norms of the Medical Council of India, has the best infrastructure facilities to offer to the patients coming from various parts of Uttar Pradesh. Dr Mukesh Yadav, Principal, Government Medical College, Banda, talks of various challenges faced by the college and ways to overcome them, in conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).
With the opening of an allopathic medical college in Banda, how do you see the development of medical infrastructure benefitting the citizens of the district as well as Uttar Pradesh, particularly those belonging to the Bundelkhand region?
This is the third medical college in the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh after Maharani Laxmibai Medical College, Jhansi and Government Medical College, Jalaun. The catchment area of the Government Medical College at Banda is extensive, covering Mahoba and Hamirpur besides Banda district. The Medical College in Banda has been built as per the norms of the Medical Council of India, with all the facilities that are available in any other medical college. But the only difference is that since the college has started functioning recently, we are facing certain challenges pertaining to smooth functioning of various departments and attracting manpower, especially qualified doctors and specialists, to a small city like Banda. Spread in 106 acres, the medical college offers the best infrastructure in terms of accommodation, medical equipment and hospital space. As of now, 21 departments are functional in the medical college but certain departments are facing shortage of doctors. Due to these challenges, we are unable to offer all the services under one roof.
A recent analysis done by us to estimate the number of patients we have treated in 2017 and 2018 shows an increase of 40 percent in the number of patients in both OPD and IPD. We are offering services under all the national schemes, be it Ayushman Bharat, or Janani Suraksha Yojna or birth and death registration. The efforts are on to get all the doctors appointed so that the departments start functioning smoothly. For example, in the Radio Diagnosis Department, which offers medical investigation services like CT scan, ultrasound, etc, does not have a single
doctor. It is a known fact that without proper investigation and diagnosis, treatment of patients cannot be done. The situation is no better in old government medical colleges like in Kanpur. The State government needs to take cognizance of this matter. We have already submitted our suggestions to the government as to how such medical colleges where doctors are in shortage can be run efficiently.
In Etawah district’s Saifai, where doctors did not want to go to rural areas or in those areas infested with criminals, the State government offered rural allowance worth Rs. 30,000 to the doctors in addition to the salary to ensure that medical services are provided in those areas. Similarly in Haryana and Rajasthan, to ensure availability of doctors in medical colleges functioning in rural areas a special status is granted to them and doctors get extra perks and incentives to attend to such medical colleges.
When I joined in June last year, the Uttar Pradesh government had formed a committee and I was appointed its chairman. I was entrusted with studying functioning of medical colleges in other states. I visited Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and found that the medical colleges in rural areas of those states function under autonomous societies and powers are invested in the principal, commissioner and district magistrate to appoint the doctors, whereas in case of medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh, we have to follow a lengthy process for the appointment of doctors.
I believe that once medical reforms are implemented, the Medical College in Banda would prove to be a boon for the patients of the entire Bundelkhand region. With good infrastructure facilities, coupled with availability of doctors, we would not be required to refer serious cases to hospitals in bigger cities.
Do you believe that after overcoming the challenges of availability of doctors, the tertiary care provided by the Government Medical College, Banda will improve in the region?
The relatives and attendants of patients coming from rural areas often lack patience and get violent in case the patient dies. Therefore, generally doctors refer patients who require critical care to other cities. Soon after joining the Government Medical College, Banda, my primary focus was on providing security to the doctors. After discussions with district administration, we have managed to get a police post in the medical college campus.
Government Medical College Banda is the first medical college in the State which has signed an MoU with Uttar Pradesh Skill Development Mission (UPSDM) to provide training to the students on various streams like Medical Technician, Bed Side Attendant, Front Line Worker, Emergency Medical Technician, etc. free of cost. This will further improve the efficiency of the college and also increase the number of trained staff.
Since the college campus is located on the outskirts of the city, maintenance of law and order and ensuring safety of our students is also a major concern. We have been continuously demanding the State government to provide us manpower required to secure the premises.
As the medical college often gets serious accidental cases, we have been demanding the government to provide us with a CT scan under PPP model to investigate various types of medical cases, which can reduce migration of patients to other cities and help in diagnosis and deliver better healthcare solutions in Banda itself. It will benefit patients in many ways including reduction in expenses. As burden on better medical facilities in cities like Lucknow and Kanpur is already very high, the patient referred to such facilities faces long waiting period to avail critical care.
Since we have sufficient junior doctors, number of beds and equipment and only lack specialist doctors, a solution can be found to this issue. We also need to revise the salary structure, incentives and other facilities of specialist doctors to attract them to medical colleges in rural areas.
Read more: District administration of Banda
“A recent analysis to estimate the number of patients we have treated in 2017 and 2018 shows an increase of 40 percent in the number of patients in both OPD and IPD. We are offering services under all the national schemes, be it Ayushman Bharat, or Janani Suraksha Yojna or birth and death registration.”
How management is trying to get specialist doctors on contractual basis?
We are already having a team of specialist doctors on contractual basis since 2015. But due to low salary structure we are facing challenges. Specialist doctors get better contractual offers from other hospitals. We have already recommended to the State government for revision of salary of senior doctors. We have also refused doctors due to age bars under national guidelines. We require a team of experts in various divisions to make the medical college fully functional in Banda.