All is not well with the civil hospital at Kotkapura as many posts of medical staff have been lying vacant for a long time badly affecting the functioning of the hospital. As a result, patients are left with no alternative but to get treatment from private hospitals, which most of the people can ill afford.
The sub-divisional level hospital is supposed to cater to over 80,000 population of Kotkapura town besides residents of nearly 50 surrounding villages.
With many medical posts lying vacant working at outdoor as well as indoor departments remains crippled. Doctors were shifted out of the hospital one by one over the years.
"The hospital is situated at the centre of the district and, most of emergency cases from many villages, including Jaitu and Kotkapura, are first rushed to the civil hospital in Kotkapura, but all the three posts of emergency medical officers (EMOs) are lying vacant here," said Jaipal Garg, member of the district grievances committee, Faridkot.
"Specialists are assigned the duty to handle residents cases and this badly disrupts the functioning at the OPD of the hospital," claimed a source.
Besides, the hospital has no any regular radiologist, eye specialist, paediatrician, psychiatrist and dermatologist.
The post of the chief pharmacist is also vacant in the hospital.
"The hospital can offer better services if all the posts of specialists, including emergency medical officers, are filled. But the patients feel very much disappointed at the state of affairs in the hospital and have to visit private hospitals for treatment, where they have to pay much more," said Rajinder Singh, a resident of Kotkapura.
A private specialist charges at least `100 as fee for OPD and as far as indoor treatment is concerned, it goes out of the reach of the poor people as expenses run into lakhs.
"The radiologist, being part time, is not available in the morning and many patients have to get ultrasound scans done from outside. Besides, the lab is always overcrowded and people have to wait for hours to get scans done," Garg said.
According to sources, there are, on an average, about 100 to 150 deliveries in a month, but there is no child specialist to handle emergency cases.
The locals said that they have raised the issue many a time with the authorities concerned, but to no avail.
Earlier, there used to be a dermatologist and an eye surgeon, but they not available now.
"Some posts of emergency medical offers and specialists are vacant, but we have written to the higher authorities to fill these," said Dr Gaji Ujjair, senior medical officer of the hospital.