It's a 'record' to be proud of under normal circumstances. However, the 306 deliveries carried out in September at the local civil hospital can only be described as a fluke, considering the woeful infrastructure.
The gynae ward at the facility has only three beds in a single room. Most patients are forced to take beds on rent from sundry people like the canteen contractor at Rs. 30 a day.
Locals say that the ward was previously a six-bed facility, but was halved in size after need was felt for a neo-natal sick-care unit.
In this situation, it almost seems futile to ask for facilities provided to the women in labour, before and after delivery.
However, some financial incentives are given to expectant mothers for institutional deliveries under the Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakarma of the Centre, implemented under the National Rural Health Mission.
For the time being, the Mata Kaushalya Kalyan Yojana, run by the state government, has been put on hold due to the fund crunch.
A Raiser village labourer Jagsir Singh's wife was admitted at 2:00 am on Wednesday night. As there was no space in the gynae ward, she remained under the open shed outside the ward.
"She was taken to the labour room from the shed at around 6.00 am for delivery and then she was transferred back to the shed at 8.00 am," said Sukhdev Singh, grandfather of the new-born.
"We, as attendants, have no problem in adjusting. However, what use is an hospital that does not even have space for patients," he added.
Another attendant claimed:
"I have taken a bed on rent at Rs. 30 per day from the hospital canteen after depositing Rs. 200 as security charges. There is no space inside the ward. We are staying in a shed."
"The construction of a 50-bed mother and child hospital will be complete in 18 months. This will solve all problems," said civil surgeon Dr Renu.
The 100-bed civil hospital has a senior medical officer, 13 specialists, seven general duty medical officers and a dental surgeon.
The hospital is duty-bound to ensure that it maintains hygiene and ensures that best treatment and care is provided to women in labour and new-born. This will help reduce Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR).
Sanjeev Bansal, social activist
Patients take beds on rent from canteen. Hospital should provide at least basic facilities for newborns and mothers.
Manjit Singh Bamrah, resident
A new double-storey gynae wing is under construction at the old site of the civil hospital at a cost of Rs. 10 crore. Better facilities will be provided at the new building.
Jasbir Singh Aulakh, senior medical officer, Barnala
DOING THE MATH
The hospital managed to carry out 306 deliveries in September in a 3-bed gynae ward, meaning that more than 3 deliveries were carried out per bed per day. Of the total deliveries, 51 were C-section or caesarean. So, it is only a matter of conjecture on the quality of care and facilities provided at the hospital.