The number of confirmed dengue cases in Siliguri is a lot more than the official figure, with many private nursing homes not reporting cases in a clear violation of the Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act 2010.
Speaking to mediapersons on Monday, Rudranath Bhattacharya, the Trinamool Congress MLA from Siliguri and chairman of the standing committee on health, said that of the 37 private nursing homes in the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC) area, not more than 19 or 20 have been sending timely reports to government authorities on the number of dengue cases.
Hence, with a number of healthcare facilities not filing timely reports, the state health department has clearly been at pains to reach the exact figure on the number of people diagnosed with the ailment.
The issue was debated at length on Monday following which the local health officials decided to send notices to the erring healthcare units, asking them to comply or face action under the Clinical Establishment Act.
The meeting featured a host of top health officials, including the chief medical officers of health in Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri and the superintendent of North Bengal Medical College and Hospital and was chaired by Bhattacharya.
Addressing the media crew, Bhattacharya said 145 confirmed cases of dengue have been reported from Siliguri and the adjoining areas between September 1 and 15.
Though all nursing home authorities in the area had been sent invites to attend Monday’s meeting, those of only 29 such facilities showed up.
The MLA put the count of confirmed dengue cases at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital and Siliguri District Hospital at 110. However, several others diagnosed with the ailment are reportedly under treatment at private nursing homes.
The MLA asked the erring healthcare units to comply with the Clinical Establishment Act and send in timely reports on the number of dengue cases, failing which the state health department could move to cancel their licenses.
Meanwhile, local Trinamool leaders continued to engage in a blame game with top civic officials of the Congress-run SMC over the unrelenting march of dengue in the area.
While mayor Gangotri Dutta blamed the state health department for failing to contain the spread of the disease, local Trinamool leaders put the onus on the civic body, saying it lacked the urgency to deal with the situation.