The state government’s tall claims to effectively deal with the drugs-related problems stand exposed, as the 50-bedded drug de-addiction centre at Rajindra Hospital awaits completion for the past over seven months for the want of additional funds.
This centre was among the 17 others announced in 2013 by the state government to deal with rising drug menace. Accordingly, the Patiala centre was sanctioned Rs 1.5 crore of initial outlay and the construction began in late 2013 under the supervision of the PWD department.
Even as the structure of the building was fully completed by July last year, the furnishing work was stopped soon after, as the executing agency overran the approved budget.
Since then, the hospital authorities have sent several reminders through the executing agency for the sanction of additional funds to the state government, but in vain.
Professor BS Sidhu, head of the psychiatry department, said recently the PWD department again sent a reminder for additional budget and as per their feedback, the sanction was expected soon.
A senior official of the PWD department said the department required additional Rs 30-40 lakh for the final furnishing of the building, which included the construction of the main gate, boundary wall, etc.
The hospital authorities, it is learnt, has also written to Hussan Lal, secretary, medical education and research, to grant additional funds for the early completion of the de-addiction centre.
While the OPD block of the de-addiction centre has recently started with the required staff, the indoor treatment facility still elude the centre, thereby hampering the hospital’s overall efforts to provide full treatment to the addicted patients who visit here on regular basis.
A senior official said the new de-addiction centre was mooted here since the present infrastructure in the hospital was not enough to deal with the rising cases of drug abuse. “But the full fledged de-addiction treatment facility is yet to begin here,” he added.
“Several patients who visit the new OPB block here need to be hospitalised but since the indoor facility is still not complete, we are unable to admit the patients and fail to keep a proper track of their treatment,” said a senior doctor in hospital’s psychiatry department.
According to officials, the de-addiction treatment was incomplete without proper rehabilitation. “The new facility will not only have a rehabilitation facility, but also an ultra-modern computerised programme to monitor the inflow of addicts,” they said.
“Since it is attached to the medical college, students as well faculty members will also be involved in the clinical research work on the lines of the de-addiction centre in Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh. But these things will only be started once the 50-bedded treatment centre becomes fully functional,” said the officials.