ITANAGAR, Mar 21: Whilst the Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (TRIHMS) is awaiting Letter of Permission (LOP) by the Medical Council of India (MCI),a team of which is expected to visit the state soon, over 400 staff of the Tomo Riba State Hospital (TRSH) are presently anxious over the fate of their future.
A total of 487 employees of the TRSH, including 105 doctors and 382 staff nurses, technical and non-technical staffs under TRSH Employee Committee have on 17 March last, submitted a memorandum to the chief minister, wherein they claimed that the authority is yet to decide over the fate of present serving staff of TRSH.
The employees have also informed that there is already an indication from Director TRIHMS and Commissioner Health that all the aforementioned staffs will have to be transferred to districts en mass once LOP is accorded to TRIHMS.
The move, they said, will not only affect the long serving staff, some at the verge of retirement but very likely, affect the whole health scenario in terms of patient care.
The employees have suggested that the lone State Referral Hospital, i.e. the TRSH can be attached along with its existing staff in TRIHMS.
“We support the upcoming TRIHMS and wish to be a part of the premier Institute with our service being utilised as regular government employee in same existing capacity as in TRSH now with its attachment to TRIHMS as a teaching hospital.
This can be done by emulating the model of Safdarjung Hospital which is attached to the Vardhman Medical College under MOHF Government of India and also Maulana Azad Medical College, to which four hospitals (Lok Nayak Hospital, G B Pant Institute of PGMER, Guru Nanak Eye Centre, Sushruta Trauma Centre and Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences) are attached and functioning smoothly,” they employees added.
The TRSH Employees Committee further suggested that the state government could also emulate the model of the Jawahar Lal Nehru Institute of Medical Science (JNIMS), Manipur, which was converted into a medical college from already existing Jawahar Lal Nehru Government Hospital under JNIMS society and absorb or depute the existing 487 staffs of TRSH in TRIHMS, or may allow them to continue till suitable alternative arrangement is done.
Speaking to The Arunachal Times, one of the senior doctors of the TRSH said that the importance of a state referral hospital should not be discounted by the state government.
The doctor said, “In the absence of a lone state referral hospital, who will cater to or replace its services in terms of referral from primary and secondary government health centres from districts, standing medical board for government and other medical re-imbursements and miscellaneous government orders. What will happen to all the vertical programs under the National Health Mission such as TB/HIV/MCH etc, which is being run by the state government for the poor, and what will happen to the tertiary cancer centre and cancer patients of state when the GoAP has already committed to give free treatment of Rs 10 lakhs per patient. How can things continue in TRIHMS when it is run by a society?”
Some of the senior doctors and staff have also claimed that they have been kept in the dark since the beginning by the authorities regarding the future of their jobs.
They said, “The authorities have been very ambiguous from the start. There has been no clear-cut notification regarding our service rules which would be radically changed once the TRIHMS becomes functional.”
Presently, the TRIHMS is understaffed as there is not enough manpower from the level of professor to associate professors, assistant professors, senior and junior residents, tutor-demonstrators and other technical and non-technical staffs. If at this stage, the 487 staffs are moved out of TRSH after LOP from the MCI is obtained, the emergency services as well as regular health care services of TRIHMS is likely to collapse.
Further, the future of the total of 76 APHS doctors, who have been appointed to various posts of Assistant Professor and senior, junior, tutor-demonstrator at TRIHMS on contractual basis, is also uncertain.
If they are asked to resign and join in TRIHMS on contractual basis, none of them are likely to leave their regular government service. The fate of the TRSH, which is the only state referral hospital for Papum Pare district, will be unpredictable once it is under TRIHMS authority. It may become a central institute in near future then the question arises as who will cater to the need of the state referral hospital.
The Arunachal Times also tried to contact the Director Health Services and TRIHMS Director for their comments but they did not respond to calls and messages from this daily.