When the pregnancy test and all pregnancy medicines or abortion pills are provided free of cost by the health department, still some doctors are prescribing these medicines from outside.
One of the victims Komal, 31, who was waiting for doctor at Kot Mangal Singh dispensary said, “I spent nearly ` 600 in last nine days on abortion medicine, but I am still not fine.” Komal said she also paid ` 50 for pregnancy test at the dispensary and then the doctor prescribed medicines from outside which cost nearly ` 550. But her health had been deteriorating and she could not find doctor in dispensary during her visit on Tuesday and even on last Friday.
Moreover, for the densely populated industrial city of Ludhiana, only 29 government dispensaries are being run by the district health department, putting the poor on the harrowing end. Of these 29 dispensaries, only 19 have doctors and rest are being run by paramedical staff.
The doctors available are hardly found present at t he dispensaries as they are being assigned duties at civil hospital or in other programmes.
On visiting the five dispensaries on Tuesday, the HT team found that at Kot Mangal Singh and Dasmesh Nagar dispensaries doctors were not present on duty and the staff claimed that they were on duty at Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital. The doctor present at Dholewal dispensary near Rara Sahib also left by noon for her duty at the civil hospital.
An elderly woman, who visited the dispensary at Kot Mangal Singh, said, “I hardly found doctor present here and thus I have to go to private clinic for medicines.”
It has been lear nt that if a doctor is assigned night duty at the civil hospital then he/ she usually does not come for next two days at the dispensary. On an average, the doctors are found present only for 10 days at their respective dispensaries, sometimes because of duties.