The civil hospital at Kotkapura is facing severe staff crunch as half of the sanctioned posts of doctors are lying vacant, causing inconvenience to the patients.
Against the 14 posts of doctors, including three posts of emergency medical officers (EMO), the hospital has only 7 doctors. All the three posts of EMO are vacant, besides there is no eye surgeon for about a year and psychiatrist for more than a year-and-half. The only orthopediatrician attends OPD on three days in a week.
"On Tuesday, the orthopediatrician has to go to Faridkot civil hospital and other two days he spends in the operation theatre. So, he is available in the OPD on three days in a week," said Dr Gaji Ujjair, senior medical officer (SMO), civil hospital, Kotkapura. "We are short of doctors as well as nursing staff. I have joined as SMO on Thursday only and will try to make improvements," said Dr Ujjair.
There is only one gynaecologist and patients have to wait for hours for their turns. "We had reached the hospital at about 8.15am and since then we have been waiting for our turn (at about 11.45)," said Jagdeep Singh of Kotkapura, who had brought his pregnant wife for a check-up. Buta Singh too had brought his wife for a check-up and the turn came after 3 hours. Buta and Jagdeep claimed that they had visited the hospital on Tuesday also, but had to go back without seeing the doctor as the turn didn't come on that day.
"The weather is too hot and there is no provision of a water cooler," said Darshan Singh former sarpanch of Dhilwan Kalan village. Getting ultrasound scan done at the hospital, which is mostly required in pregnancy cases, is also an uphill task. The lone sinologist/radiologist visits the hospital after 1pmas the first half of the day he spends at civil hospital, Faridkot.
"Since ultrasound scanning here is cheaper as compared to private hospitals, a large number of people come here. But due to rush, people have to wait for days to get the procedure done," said Darshan.
"People with right connections don't have to wait. They come and get their untrasound scans done within minutes," alleged Darshan. The patients outside the ultrasound room alleged that some women employees of the hospital were changing turns of patients.
Nehru Singh of Baggeana village claimed that he had reached the hospital at 10am to get the ultrasound scan of his wife done as prescribed by a doctor posted at a PHC in a neighbouring village. "Chances are slim that our turn will come today," he said.
Women employees misbehave with HT reporter
When this reporter was clicking pictures, some of the women employees, who allegedly were changing turns of patients in the ultrasound room, misbehaved with him. The situation was defused only after deputy commissioner and civil surgeon intervened.