Shortage of staff, poor sanitation with stagnant water and garbage dumped on the grounds, unavailability of medicines, bad arterial roads and lack of other basic amenities are some of things ailing the General Shivdev Memorial Nabha Civil Hospital, which caters not only to the population of the town, but other 172 villages around it as well.
Sources say the strength of staff, including doctors and nurses, has gone down to less than half than what it used to be a few years back. Out of the 23 vacancies, there are only 11 doctors in the hospital and even these doctors have to share duties at other hospitals. Leaves and absence in this minimal staff adds on to the public inconvenience on regular basis. “The whole district has only one radiologist and Nabha hospital has none,” said the sources.
“We are labourers and if we don’t keep well, how will we feed our family. But here health system is in a mess here. I had left my today’s wage to see the doctor. But there wasn’t any doctor for medicine available in the hospital,” said a labourer in disappointment.
Meanwhile, the 300-metre road from Bouran Gate Chowk to the hospital gate takes more than 15 minutes to cover because of the encroachments on the road, and in case of jams, it takes more time.
The generic medical store named “Jan Aushdhi” lacks supply of medicines, forcing common man to purchase from private medical stores at more prices. The store, which should remain open 24 hrs according to the rules, operates only for 12 hours due to the lack of staff. “I needed a tablet of Diclofenac as prescribed by the doctor in emergency at around 1 am, but it was not available in the emergency as well,” a patient said.
Meanwhile, the hospital grounds around the wards are mostly filled with dirty water and garbage, providing suitable ambience for the growth diseases. The discarded old rooms in the vicinity of the hospital are abode for drug abusers.