Govt hosps flouting norms in appointing anaesthesia technicians: Paramedical union

While private hospitals are sticking to the Medical Council of India (MCI) norms in recruiting anaesthesia technicians, most of the government hospitals do not have such a post and assign the role to multi-purpose health workers.

Rajasekaran RK | TNN
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Tirupur: While private hospitals are sticking to the Medical Council of India (MCI) norms in recruiting anaesthesia technicians, most of the government hospitals do not have such a post and assign the role to multi-purpose health workers. Deploying such technicians will endanger lives, the Tiruchirappalli Paramedical Technicians’ Welfare Association said in a petition to the Tirupur district administration.

“It is important that oxygen, nitrous oxide, carbon-dioxide, compressed air and vacuum suction are administered in the right quantity and specification. Otherwise, the patients’ lives would be in danger,” vice-president of the association M Balasubramaniyan said.

“The government had constituted a one-and-a-half-year diploma course for anaesthesia technician in government medical colleges. As many as 749 people, who completed the course, are on the state employment seniority list,” he said.

On an average, 70,000 surgeries are carried out in government hospitals in a district every year, K Marimuthu, a diploma holder working in a private hospital in Coimbatore said. “But, the government hospitals are utilising the service of multi-purpose health workers for carrying out the duties of about 1,000 anaesthesia technicians,” he told TOI.

“Despite being aware of the importance of the anaesthesia technician’s post, the government is not ready to absorb qualified technicians. It is against the MCI norms. While private hospitals are recruiting such qualified technicians, they are paid meagre salaries,” Marimuthu added.

As such, the government’s diploma course is not fully serving its purposes, said Balasubramaniyan. “A pregnant woman died due to improper supply of oxygen at a government hospital in Thoothukudi. Such incidents emphasise the importance of appointing qualified technicians,” he said.

As many as 77 anaesthesia technician diploma holders were appointed in some government hospitals and Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Medical College in Coimbatore in 2017, Balasubramaniyan said. “But, the appointments were made without following the seniority list,” he said.

Meanwhile, a higher official with the Directorate Of Medical & Rural Health Services said, “It is true that anaesthesia technician’s work is carried out by multi-purpose health workers. Though they do not have diploma certificates, they were given proper training. Recruitment of qualified technicians is vested with the government.”

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