Two doctors for taking care of patients from 56 villages. That is the state of affairs at the lone community health centre in Dehlon.
Dehlon, a rural town that is 30 kilometres away from Ludhiana, continues to be deprived of modern medical facilities. The health centre, which has been functional for the past 70 years, even lacks the infrastructure for any major operation, and patients requiring one have to go all the way to a hospital in Ludhiana.
The health centre is terribly understaffed. Though there are eight posts of doctors at the hospital - four of a general medical officer (GMO) and one each of a surgeon, paediatrician, MD medical and gynaecologist, the hospital has only two GMOs.
An employee at the health centre, who did not wish to be named, said, "The dearth of staff and medical facilities are the biggest hurdles in treating patients here. Even our laboratory is not well-equipped. Had it been so, patients' problems could have been diagnosed much earlier. Also, there is no x-ray or MRI machine available at the hospital."
Harbansh Singh Virk, president of the Market Association of Dehlon, said, "The foundation stone for a `6 crore hospital was laid by chief minister Prakash Singh Badal on October 6, 2011. However, there was no follow-up. The foundation stone is still lying there. Nearly 2.5 acres were acquired near the Dehlon police station for building the two-storied hospital."
A shopkeeper in the market described the laying of the hospital's foundation without a follow-up as a false promise for saving votes. Asked about the current status of the project, Dehlon member of legislative assembly (MLA) Darshan Singh Shivalik said he had raised the issue in the Vidhan Sabha twice.
"But I have been told that the grant for the project has not been released. I would raise the issue in the next session in February. As for the rest, higher authorities need to take charge and look into the matter."