In a crumbling Dr Mathura Dass Civil Hospital here, more than 200 babies are born every month.
The hospital's maternity department, district tuberculosis (TB) centre, Anti-retroviral Therapy (ART) Link Centre (that integrates HIV care, support, and treatment with the health system), and many other offices of the health department are in unsafe buildings.
The two foundation stones that high officials of the British imperial government laid before Independence show how long the health department has used the hospital. It has served people for 85 years but itself found little care.
The maternity department is in the most unsafe block. “Many times, we have requested the authorities concerned to shift it to a safe building but nobody cared,” said state Congress secretary Harpal Singh Brar. “In the last Moga by-election, the heads of many social organisations had conveyed the demand to deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.”
On June 9, 1927, the-then deputy commissioner of Ferozepur, FC Bourne Esquire, laid the foundation stone of the maternity home in the Moga Civil Hospital. On October 13, 1928, the-then governor of Punjab, Geoffrey Montmorency, inaugurated the operating theatre. The main building was never repaired since, and a few years ago, the public works department (buildings and roads) had declared these blocks unsafe.
“When the hospitals are ill maintained, how can the chief minister claim that the state's health services are the best in the country. The government is dishonest,” said Brar.
A proposal was through to shift the maternity department said assistant civil surgeon Dr Naresh Gupta. “Some maintenance work is underway in the new building,” he said. “When it is finished, the maternity department will move in.”