Guwahati: Assam’s Health and Family Welfare Minister Keshab Mahanta on Monday said the government has decided to carry out reforms in the operation of the state-run medical college and hospitals to give better services to the people.

Addressing a press conference here, Mahanta said that as a first step towards reforming the system, various testing facilities such as MRI, CT scan and X-Ray will start functioning in double shifts to cater to more people.

“The number of patients in the medical colleges are very high compared to the infrastructure. So, we have decided to have double shifts from today. Earlier, testing for OPDs used to happen from 8 am to 3 pm. Now, another shift will start from 3 pm to 10 pm,” he added.

The manpower, including technicians and doctors, have already been hired for this additional workload in all the medical college and hospitals across the state, Mahanta said.

“This doubling of shifts is for the general patients and all those coming through the OPD section. The testing in the emergency takes place round the clock,” he said.

The minister said the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) will now test at least 60 persons per day in MRI against the earlier 30-35 people, and 1,000 people in X-Ray instead of 500 at present.

“Likewise, we have also decided to double the operation theatre (OT) availability timing. Earlier, OT used to operate in one shift in the day time. Because of this, different departments used to get OT only once in a week. Now OTs will function at night too,” he said.

Mahanta further said that the government has allowed the hospital management societies to hire contractual staff as and when required.

“The contractual staff will be paid salaries exactly at par with the permanent employees. This will ease the situation of manpower shortage in the hospitals. We hope that by January-February, the government healthcare situation in Assam will improve considerably,” he said.

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