In the wake of allegations that doctors have been coming in late to the out-patient departments, making people wait for a long time, Tamil Nadu Health Secretary Gagandeep Singh Bedi has written a letter to all district collectors to ensure that deans, joint-director of medical services and deputy director of health services strictly adhere to the timings.
Recently, a leading daily of the state had pointed out irregularities in timings, leading to patients, who travel long distances for treatment, waiting for several hours.
In his letter on July 4, Bedi said that the provision of universal access to equitable, affordable, easily accessible and quality health care services to all people of the state is one of the primary objectives of the hospitals in the state.
“In order to achieve it, the timely commencement of Out-patient Services in all the Government Medical College Hospitals, Government Hospitals, Government Primary Health Centres and Dispensaries is much critical and very important to avoid any undue delays to avail the health services especially at the time of need,” the letter read.
The Health Secretary listed down the approved timings of the OP services.
In Government Medical College Hospitals, doctors/staff in-charge for OP during admission day of the respective department has to be available from 7.30 am till noon.
Other doctors have to be from 9 am to 4 pm. The resident medical officer (RMO) has to be present at 7 am to oversee OP and arrangements, while medical superintendents has to be present at 8 am and be available on emergency services.
At government headquarter hospital and other government hospitals, the general OP timings are from 7.30 am till noon. It has been noted that the 24-hour duty doctors should attend the evening OP from 3 pm to 5 pm.
For dentists and physiotherapists, the OP timings are from 8 am to 1 pm and in the evening from 3 pm to 5 pm. The chief medical officers (administration) have been directed to be available from 7.30 am to 1.30 pm, and again from 3 pm to 5 pm.
Similarly at Government Primary Health Centres, the OP timings are instructed and it may vary depending on the number of available Medical Officers.