It has been more than a year since Punjab health minister Surjit Kumar Jyani inaugurated the state-of-the-art eye hospital in the city, but the state government has failed to deploy adequate number of eye specialists, apparently failing to achieve its stated purpose.
The hospital, constructed at the cost of crores of rupees, has virtually become a white elephant for want of staff and required equipment.
In the absence of better facilities at government-run hospitals, the poor are forced to seek help from NGOs or look for private doctors in cities like Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Amritsar for eye-related complications with just two specialists at the local eye hospital failing to cater to a large number of patients.
“Fe rozepu rh ad almost become orphan as there is nobody to raise voice in the state cabinet meetings since no minister represents any assembly segment from the border district,” rued Naresh Sharma, a social worker.
“What objective did it serve after spending the common man’s hard earned money on the construction of such a large hospital if the authorities concerned cannot provide specialist doctors,” questioned Amit Sharma, a local resident.
“I had taken up the issue with the then health minister in the UPA government and got approved this state-of-the-art hospital under the National Rural Health Mission. It is sad that the SAD-BJP government failed to provide adequate staff and equipment,” said local Cong ress MLA Par minder Singh Pinki.
“I will raise the issue in the Punjab assembly to ensure that eye specialists are appointed here soon,” the local Congress legislator further said.
“I had successfully pursued the matter to get an eye bank and a mobile van for the eye hospital but the medical mobile van was sent to Fazilka, the hometown of health minister Surjit Jiyani, and the eye bank was shifted to Faridkot for the reasons best known to the authorities concerned,” added Pinki.
“As of now, there are two eye specialists but we need more of them to carry out cornea and retina-related surgeries. The demand to appoint specialists has been sent to the health authorities ,” said Fe rozep ur civil surgeon Pardeep Chawla.