Punjab health minister Surjit Kumar Jyani inaugurating the Rs 17.5 crore Mother Child Hospital (MCH) at Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital on Friday was no less than eyewash with the hospital yet to get required staff and equipment. While the inauguration was postponed in the morning, it was suddenly given a go-ahead.
As a result, the hospital, which is said to have 100 beds, was hastily furnished with 40 old beds from the gynaecology ward of the civil hospital. With no new equipment available for the hospital, the existing equipment was given a new look using paint.
The state government had earlier claimed that it would provide ultra-modern facilities at the hospital with an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Special Newborn Care Unit (SNCU).
Besides, because of the sudden announcement, an inauguration stone could not be arranged for and a temporary flex board took its place. Earlier it was expected that Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Basal will inaugurate the hospital whose construction had begun in early 2013.
Talking to HT, Jyani said the state-of-the-art hospital would get required staff and equipment by November end.
Earlier on November 12, civil hospital senior medical officer (SMO) Dr Raj Kumar Karkara had said the gynaecology and paediatrics ward would be shifted to the new hospital.
Urban Primary Health Centre inaugurated
In addition to this hospital, the minister launched the National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) in the state by inaugurating the first Urban Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Bhagwan Nagar.
He also inaugurated an Urban Kiosk in Sanjay Gandhi Colony near Sector 32, Chandigarh Road, to enable residents of slum areas to get round-the-clock treatment.
Addressing the media, Jyani said, “93 PHCs will be opened in 41 cities by the end of this year. Besides 13 Community Health Centres (CHC), including six in Ludhiana, four in Amritsar and three in Jalandhar, will be set up by next year.”
An amount of Rs 101 crore would be spent in the state under NUHM to provide affordable quality health services to urban population, he added.
He added that the state government was all set to tackle Ebola cases. Special health teams had been stationed at all airports and railway stations of the state.
He said negotiations were also going on with private companies for maintaining cleanliness in government hospitals.
Jayani also urged people to make full use of helpline number 104 wherein residents could give suggestions, submit complaints and get details about health department and its services.
He said under the anti-drug campaign of the state government, 3.91 lakh people had taken medication from government hospitals, while 22,000 people had shunned drugs and around 200 patients were currently undergoing treatment at different government hospitals of the state.
He added that by March 2015, 18 rehabilitation centres would be set up in the state.
The health minister was accompanied by Vini Mahajan, principal secretary, health and finance; Hussan Lal, secretary health-cum-mission director, National Health Mission; Dr Karanjit Singh, director health; Ludhiana mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria, besides several other officers.
However, Gohalwaria remained aloof from all main events. When asked, he said, “I can’t be a part of a crowd where everyone is pushing one another to get clicked. If I was invited for the event, it was the health minister’s duty to call me to the fore, as the protocol also states, but he didn’t take any initiative.”
Health minister inspects emergency ward at civil hospital
Before inaugurating the Mother Child Hospital, Jyani went to the emergency ward at civil hospital and met patients, enquiring about any shortcomings.
Though no patient complained about the treatment or facilities, the minister ordered the hospital authorities to deal with damp walls by installing tiles.
He also questioned the absence of air conditioners in the emergency ward.
Director Health issues show-cause notice to SMO
Director health and family welfare issued a notice to senior medical officer (SMO), Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital, after finding shortcomings in the hospital. A team of directorate office had visited the hospital a few days ago and inspected the working of the hospital.
Director health and family welfare Dr Karanjit Singh said, “The team found shortcomings and thus has asked the SMO to resolve them as soon as possible. The hospital was also asked to maintain its user charges list appropriately, in a way that could benefit the patients more.”
The notice was issued on 12 shortcomings, including no licence to the blood bank, bio-medical waste management, poor working condition of test machines like X-Ray, unhygienic condition of the test centres, not displaying the new medicine lists properly, not having separate queues for men and women in dispensary, etc.
National Urban Health Mission
Will cover a population of 78.83 lakh in state, which accounts for 76% of the total urban population, including 35.96 lakh slum population and other vulnerable groups like rag-pickers, rikshaw pullers, homeless and street children.
Under NUHM, for slums with a population of around 1,500 to 2,000 people, one ASHA worker will be deputed; for every 10,000 people in cities, one Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) will be appointed. Furthermore, a primary health centre (PHC) will be set up to cater to every 50,000 people and a community health centre (CHC) will be set up for every 2.5 lakh people in cities.
Out of total 93 PHCs to be opened, 60 will be upgraded from dispensaries and only 33 new places would be identified to open new PHCs in rented buildings at a cost of `44.29 crore. The first Urban PHC opened in Bhagwan Nagar was also a dispensary. But the gurdwara committee funded the building and built a PHC in its place.
The urban PHC will run in two phases. “Beside a regular doctor, one part-time doctor will also be appointed at the PHCs, who will provide service in the evening hours,” said Dr Subhash Batta, civil surgeon, Ludhiana.