The local Civil Hospital, better known as district hospital (DH), has been functioning with half of its sanctioned strength of beds for about a year now. The DH has the approved strength of 100 beds, but as per the information uploaded on the official website of the Punjab Health Systems Corporation (PHSC) on July 15, 2011, only 50 beds are there for the indoor patients. Till this day, the hospital has not become a 100-bed facility.
“Though the hospital has been upgraded to a 100-bed facility, we have only about 50 to 60 beds functional as space is the main constraint. We can only accommodate 50 beds properly but we have arranged 10 more beds at some other places,” said a doctor in the hospital.
Earlier, the hospital did not have a big building to put beds. Even after spending about Rs 2.75 crore for construction of a new building, it is yet to be inaugurated.
The new building is meant for gynaecology and paediatric specialties with the facility of a modern laboratory, a newborn child care system and other facilities being handed over to the department concerned by the contractor reportedly last Monday.
However, the building is still lying vacant as the district hospital has not got beds, bedsheets, quilts, equipment for operation theatre and a newborn care unit and a lab.
“Though some of the existing infrastructure would be shifted from the old hospital, many things are still required. We are planning to shift the outpatients department of two specialties concerned,” a senior doctor in the hospital said.
Though the newly-built modern building is meant for only two specialties of gynecology and paediatrics with the strength of 50 beds, ironically there is one post each for the specialties concerned. As per the government guidelines, two more specialists are required.
The building was also supposed to be inaugurated either by the chief minister, deputy chief minister or health minister. After September 24, most of the senior leaders from the ruling party have been avoiding a visit to Faridkot due to the protest by the joint action committee in the wake of the kidnapping case. Sources, however, said the OPD may be shifted to the new building without inauguration in days to come and the building may be officially inaugurated for indoor patients when the required infrastructure is provided.
If information uploaded on the PHSC website on July 15, 2011, is anything to go by the Faridkot Civil Hospital is facing acute shortage of staff. As per the norms of PHSC, for a 100-bed hospital there should be 46 posts of paramedical staff and 45 administrative staff. In the present case, there are only 22 and 19 posts sanctioned posts, respectively.
When contacted, Faridkot civil surgeon Dr Rakesh Arora said: “I have held a meeting with the higher authorities concerned a few days ago in this regard and the government is providing the infrastructure soon. For the time being, we are short of five nurses and basic infrastructure to make the new building functional. We hope to get all the posts filled and infrastructure soon.” The exact figure of the posts vacant in the hospital could not be known.