Twelve of the 16 sanctioned posts of ayurvedic medical officers (AMOs) are lying vacant in the district. The lack of ayurvedic doctors at dispensaries and hospitals drive people to look for alternative in allopathy and other forms of medicine.
Of the four ayurvedic dispensaries being run under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), three are without an ayurvedic doctor.
An ayurvedic centre under the Indian system of medicines is running at the district civil hospital, here, where patients are being attended to for four days in a week by an upvaid (pharmacist), while the doctor visits on two days only as he attends patients at another dispensary on other days.
The upvaidas are reportedly legally authorised to attend to the patients in the absence of the doctor in the ayurvedic system of medicine, sources said.
"Earlier, we used to have an OPD of about 60 patients at the ISM centre when it had a regular doctor some years ago. But now the number of patients has come down to half," said a source.
The ISM centre is more convenient for the patients as facilities of ultrasound, X-ray and other tests are available within the premises. But the vacant post of AMO is hitting the facility hard.
The condition of the five-bedded main ayurvedic hospital on the Talwandi road is deplorable. Even its building is in a bad shape and there is hardly any facility for patients.
Both posts of the ayurvedic doctors and senior physician are lying vacant and the charge is with a staff nurse. So, of the 16 sanctioned posts of AMOs, only four are filled, while 4 posts of upvaids are also vacant."
The supply of medicines is also a big problem. We do not get the supply as required. Most patients have to take medicines without break and when there is no supply, the treatment gets affected,” a department source said.
“Posts of AMOs are lying vacant but we hope to get these filled soon as the government is trying to recruit more ayurvedic doctors,” said Dr Harphool Singh, district ayurvedic officer of Faridkot.