Even as the state department claims that it provides world-class medical treatment facilities to its citizens, facts do not support its assertion. Nawanshahr has only one gynaecologist to cater to birth cases and she is available at the local civil hospital. The civil hospital has three sanctioned posts. Due to the staff crunch, the existing staff faces a huge workload, even as the rush of patients increases daily.
Details gathered from the health department show that 2,183 delivery cases were reported in five government centres from April 2012 to February 2013. Of this more than 50% (1,295) cases were handled by the Nawanshahr hospital.
The gynaecologist at the hospital Dr SK Nagra is also on deputation from the National Rural Health Mission, as the health department has no such specialist on its rolls.
Hospitals at Banga, Balachaur, Mukandpur hospitals have been managing without a surgeon and pediatrician for many years.
There are only two pediatricians in the district and who have been posted at Nawanshahr and Saroya civil hospitals.
Of the 374 cesarean cases in the (April 2012 to February 2013), 302 were conducted at the Nawanshahr hospital. The district has eight 24-hours delivery centre including at Khatkar Kalan, Bharta Khurd, Aur, Jadla, Pharala, Sahiba, Takrala and Sujjo for handling normal delivery cases. However, in case of a complication, cases are usually referred to the Nawanshahr civil hospital.
A senior official in health department said, “It is difficult to run a health facility with only one gynaecologist. We have no such doctor on our rolls.”
“Seeing the queue in the hospital, most families prefer to approach a private hospital for delivery, instead of waiting here,” he said.
Gynaecologist Dr Nagra said, “I am under pressure most of the time. The health department was also not giving me a day off in a week due to the huge work load. It was only when I threatened to complain to the human rights commission that I was given some relief.”
Speaking with HT, civil surgeon Dr Amarjeet Kaur said, “The health department has written many letters to our bosses. A personal request was also made to the health minister to provide two more gynaecologists, two surgeons, radiologist and other required staff but no avail.”
“If we had had a surgeon in Banga hospital, it will save patients a lot of inconvenience. The incident of Khatkar Kalan staff turning out a woman due to security reasons will have been avoided.”
Health minister Madan Mohal Mittal could not be contacted in spite of repeated attempts.