The dialysis unit, which was shifted from the district-level hospital in Faridkot to the civil hospital at Kotkapura in April, has still not become operational.
Though one specialist doctor, who had been on deputation for three days of a week in the hospital, was sent to undergo two-week training to run the machine to Bathinda in March along with a staff nurse and a technician, yet the unit is still lying idle.
"Not a single dialysis has been done in the unit because the doctor, who was trained to conduct dialysis, was transferred to Jaitu afterwards. Earlier, the post of the medical specialist had fallen vacant in the civil hospital, Kotkapura, and a specialist was sent there on deputation from the community health centre, Jaitu. But, later on, posts of many doctors fell vacant in Jaitu. So, the health department transferred the dialysis-trained specialist to Jaitu," claimed a source wishing not to be named.
The locals are demanding that the unit should be made functional so that the people could avail of the service in the hospital as the department had claimed while shifting it here.
"It is also doubtful if the unit will work properly here because of the shortage of staff and other facilities. Two units have been lying non-functional in the district hospital in Faridkot for over two years because of many problems. But, the department had shifted it only due to some political reasons and to push the issue of the technically-flawed building for a blood bank, which was a headache for the health officials,' alleged a local.
"The department should have retained the trained doctor here instead of transferring him to another hospital," a source claimed.
The district health department had allegedly decided to shift the dialysis unit in March to the new building of the blood bank in Kotkapura after the state health department had rejected the building on the basis of technical flaws.
The building of the blood bank was constructed at a cost of Rs 20 lakh last year, but the blood bank could not be shifted to it from the old building because the construction of the building was not done as per rules to house a blood bank. While the blood bank required about 1,076 square feet of the area, the building was constructed only on about 775 feet of area.
The officials concerned of the department did not accept the proposal to shift the blood bank to the building meant for it unless the required area was not povided.
Dr Ghazi Uzair, senior medical officer, civil hospital, Kotkapura, did not respond to the repeated calls on his cell phone. Nor did he respond to the text message.
Dr Rajinder Raju, deputy medical commissioner, also disconnected the call.
"I am aware of the problem and it would be taken up with seniors. I shall try my best to make it run to serve the people of the area," said Dr Gurpal Singh, civil surgeon, Faridkot.