The AIIMS emergency department is reeling under acute staff shortage with several posts lying vacant at the hospital.
There are 20 posts for senior resident doctors in the department, of which 13 are lying vacant. In addition, there are 75 junior resident doctors posted at the emergency against 100 sanctioned posts.
At any given time there should ideally be around 30 doctors posted in the emergency department, said doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. However, the number hovers slightly over 10.
“The recruitment process is on. We are aware of the vacancies and are looking at filling these up. The positions are available so they can be filled, provided doctors come forward to join these positions,” said AIIMS director Dr M C Mishra.
The AIIMS Resident Doctors’ Association has sought the immediate intervention of the administration to fill the vacancies.
With the monsoon setting in, the hospital has seen a spike in patients with dengue-like symptoms. The number of patients suffering from monsoon-related ailments has also gone up, said doctors.
“There is an immediate need to boost the strength of doctors as with such a poor doctor-patient ratio, cases of medical negligence may surface,” said Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti, general secretary of the AIIMS resident doctors association (RDA).
“Patients come to the hospital to receive treatment. So the administration should ensure that there are enough doctors for no untoward incident to happen. Senior resident doctors are required to handle the complicated cases and so these posts need to be filled,” added Bhatti.
In recent months, doctors have reported several cases in which they were assaulted by patients’ family members for alleged medical negligence.
According to doctors manning the emergency department, doctors see around 150-200 patients in the emergency department at each of the three shifts in a day.
Doctors said it has become difficult to cope with the existing work conditions. There is also a lack of adequate security measures, they said.
“The working conditions for resident doctors are extremely stressful with few doctors posted in emergency. The RDA has demanded that more doctors be recruited to be posted at surgical emergency,” said AIIMS RDA president Dr Vijay Gurjar.