The state health department has spent Rs 3 crore on building gynaecology and paediatrics blocks at the Faridkot Civil Hospital but deployed only one specialist in each.
For the inauguration, the department requires a VIP. Sources at the construction site said the health department was yet to have full possession of the building, though only insignificant work is left. Even if it has the possession, it doesn't have enough gynaecologists and paediatricians to run the new departments.
It has no shortage of rooms and facilities. The only gynaecologist examines all the women patients at the district hospital. The queue outside her cabin is so enormous that patients sit on the floor for hours.
The district hospital has 26 posts of doctor, 19 of specialist, and seven of non-specialist. Nine posts of medical specialist and three of non-specialist are vacant. This makes it a dozen vacancies. Of the 101 posts of doctor in the district, 53 are vacant. Faridkot district is home to 6.18-lakh people.
The thin strength of doctors at the government hospitals drives the poor to private hospitals where an indoor patient has to pay Rs 2,000 a day, which no poor man can afford.
"A pavement around the building is still to be built," said civil surgeon Dr Tejwant Singh Randhawa. "We'll move in when it's complete. We have written to the government to send us more doctors."