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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

Civil hospital's trauma ward in bad health

Jatinder Kohli, Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, February 28, 2014
First Published: 21:16 IST(28/2/2014) | Last Updated: 22:13 IST(28/2/2014)

Health services at the trauma ward of the Shaheed Babu Labh Singh civil hospital here are suffering due to paucity of funds since its inception in 2009.

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Already affected by the shortage of funds, staff and faulty medical equipments, the health services at the centre have been totally paralysed due to the ongoing total strike of contractual employees for the past two days. The patients in the ward have been shifted to various other wards in the hospital and many of them have been discharged in view of the strike.

The data collected from the health department revealed that the trauma ward has 30 staff nurses, 10 ward attendants and five doctors and all of them are on strike since Thursday.

The trauma ward has three specialists and general duty medical officers and one staff nurse.

Even basic equipments including ventilators, air-conditioners, and monitors remain non-functional. At present, only one ventilator out of three and three monitors out of eight have been in working condition at the trauma ward.

This important ward of the hospital is also working without x-ray facility, radiologists and lab technicians. Also, there is no facility of CT scan or MRI in it.

The trauma centre was inaugurated on November 27, 2009, after a new building was constructed with a budget of around Rs. 4.5 crore by the Central government under the National Rural Health Mission scheme . After the completion, it was handed over to the state government to run it efficiently.

Since the state government has taken over the charge of centre in its hands, it had not released any fund for its maintenance apart from only monthly budget for the salary of contractual employees worth Rs. 6.5 lakh.

An advance of Rs. 2 crore has been taken as advance just for the salaries by the Punjab health System Corporation (PHSC).

The frequent strike by employees of the trauma centre of the civil hospital demanding regularisation of their services has also ruined the centre.

The contractual staff nurses complained that that they are getting a meager salary of a mere Rs. 8,000 and there is a huge gap between
their salaries and staff nurses of the civil hospital.

On December 20, 2013 state health minister Surjeet Kumar Jayani had made a surprise visit to the hospital. He found out several discrepancies in the trauma ward and had directed the  officials to make a proposal for its overall revamp but to no avail.

When contacted, medical superintendent Dr Jagjit Singh Cheema said, "We have written several times to the central government, seeking funds for its maintenance but failed to get a single penny.

PHSC chairman Barjinder Singh Brar was shocked to know that the centre has faulty ventilator and monitors. He said he would contact the managing director in this regard and funds will be released soon for the maintenance of ward.

Health minister Surjeet Kumar Jayani said that talks are on with contractual employees and hopefully, the staff will end their agitation by the end of this week and resume their duties.

He said that tenders have been placed for maintenance works and within a month, a highly specialised centre will run smoothly in the hospital.

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