Residents of over 20 villages in Charnathal have to travel to either Fatehgarh Sahib or Patiala in case of any medical emergency as there is no specialist or emergency doctor in the community health centre in the village.
The multi-crore 30 bed community health centre, which was inaugurated by the then state health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawal in 2011, was established seeing the need for specialised doctors in villages and was meant to have five specialist doctors.
However, there is not even a single specialist doctor with graduate doctors treating people, who refer most of the cases to Fateharh Sahib or Patiala,Though the centre has an emergency ward it does not have any emergency doctor. "Recently I went to community health centre for treatment in the evening and shockingly, there was just a class-four employee there following which I had to go Patiala," a villager said requesting anonymity.
Panchayat member Sarbjit Kaur recalls a similar situation. "On the eve of January 22 I was walking on road when a bike hit me after which my husband rushed me to the hospital. However, there was not even one doctor or a nurse due to which, he had to take me to Patiala," she said, adding that, "It's the duty of government to look after the facilities made for the public and it should recruit more doctor so that better health service can be provided as in villages, everyone cannot afford to go to a private hospital."
However, senior medical officer Charnathal, Dr. Mohan Lal contends that it is not that there is no doctor during emergency. "We have five medical officers; however, no one is a specialist therefore for time being we have deployed medical officers on emergency," he said.
Civil surgeon Dr. Gurdit Singh Sodhi, meanwhile said, "We will not compromise with emergency services. If any doctor is found being careless on duty, we will take action against him. We agree that there is trouble in areas due to shortage of doctor and for that we have written to state government to recruit more doctors."