Patients are a harried lot in absence of permanent psychiatrist at the de-addiction centre of Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital.
Earlier, after suspension of centre in charge Dr Sudha Vasudev, Dr Raina Garg was directed to attend the patients at Ludhiana de-addiction centre two days a week (Tuesday and Friday).
While Dr Sushil, senior medical officer (SMO) at community health centre (CHC), Raikot, was deputed at Ludhiana centre to examine patients on rest of the days.
However, Dr Garg attends patients two days a week, rest of the days’ patients had to return without medicines because Dr Sushil didn’t turn up due to administrative workload.
Dr Jasbir Singh, deputy medical commissioner (DMC) and health and nodal officer for district de-addiction centres, said, “Dr Sushil is SMO at CHC, Raikot, thus he has the administrative responsibilities too. That’s why he couldn’t join here. We have already made headquarters aware about the situation and demanded more psychiatrists.”
Baldev Singh, a patient from Haibowal, said, “I was taking treatment from Dayanand Medical College and Hospital ( DMCH) earlier. But, they referred me to civil hospital on December 24 for medicines. Since then, I have been coming here again and again, but couldn’t find a doctor.”
Meanwhile, after the state drug department banned the use of buprenorphine medicine for outpatient department (OPD) patients, private psychiatrists have started referring patients on this medicine treatment to civil hospital.
It has in return led to an increase in number of patients visiting civil hospital’s deaddiction centre for treatment.
Besides, there is no proper availability of medicine at the centre.
Manpreet, a patient, who came from Pamal village for medicine, said, “I was so happy that I had started improving with help of drug de-addiction medicines. I had even started working. But, now for the past two weeks, I am not able to get medicine from the centre, which is creating a feeling of depression in me.”
RED CROSS DE-ADDICTION CENTRE
The condition of district administration-run Red Cross de- addiction centre is even worse. The centre has 12 beds, four staff nurses, four ward attendants, but no doctor and no counsellor.
As a result patients visiting the centre are denied treatment. Last year, this centre had treated 250 patients, as at that time permanent doctor at civil hospital de-addiction centre used to look after this centre too.
Varinder Bhatti, staff nurse at Red Cross de-addiction centre, said, “We have facilities, infrastructure and free treatment policy for patients, but we could hardly do anything, as we don’t have any doctor or counselor at the centre. Patients do come to us, but we have to send them back.”