Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had announced the upgrade of the Jhargram SubDivisional Hospital to a district healthcare centre during her visit to the Maoist-dominated Jangalmahal area in West Midnapore in January 2012. She is back in Jhargram after one and a half years - to address two rallies in Gidhni and Khatinasole on Tuesday as part of her panchayat elections campaign - but no infrastructure has been put in place to upgrade the hospital yet.
To upgrade a health centre to a district hospital, the number of beds should be at least 500 and facilities like trauma care, burn, intensive therapeutic, CT-scan and ultrasonography (USG) should be in place. The hospital should also have adequate number of doctors, nurses along with group-D staff. But the only USG machine in the hospital is lying defunct for the past six months. Moreover, there are no signs of putting in place facilities like an intensive therapeutic unit (ITU), CT scan, USG and laparoscopic units along with a burn ward.
The chief minister had also announced the setting up of a 10-storied superspecialty hospital inside the district hospital complex under the central government’s backward region grants fund (BRGF) scheme. But no progress has been made on this front. The Jhargram hospital does not even meet the criteria of a sub-divisional hospital, where there should be at least 120 nurses and 50 doctors.
“We cannot increase the number of beds from 250 to 500 owing to poor infrastructure facilities. Our hospital has only 87 nurses and we need 35 more to run a sub-divisional hospital. Around Rs 70 lakh is lying with us. Trinamool Congress MLA Sujit Bose had given the money from his area development fund to set up ITU, trauma care and burn units in the hospital,” said an administrative officer of the hospital. But the public works department, which was supposed to make a blueprint to upgrade the hospital, is yet to come up with a plan.
During her earlier visit, Mamata had also announced the formation of the Jhargram health district comprising eight blocks in the Maoists belt and separated it from the West Midnapore district health administration.