Though there is an acute shortage of the staff, both medical and paramedical, at the civil hospital, Kotkapura, yet the district health authorities have, surprisingly, decided to shift the non-functional dialysis unit at the district civil hospital, Faridkot, to the sub-divisional hospital, Kotkapura. The unit is proposed to be made operational from the building, which was constructed for blood bank.
However, questions are being raised that if the unit could not be made operational at the district-level hospital, how could it be run successfully at the sub-divisional level hospital, which is already suffering from the shortage of staff.
At present, the sub-divisional hospital has only one medical specialist, who is on deputation with the hospital for three days a week from the sub-divisional hospital at Jaitu. There are no specialists in the eye and skin departments and three posts of emergency medical officers (EMOs) are lying vacant. The posts of pediatrician and psychiatrist are also vacant. The hospital is also facing a shortage of paramedical staff as well.
As the hospital has no specialists and emergency medical officers, it may not be able to operate the dialysis unit as well. "The government should first fill the vacant posts of doctors to serve the area instead of putting additional burden on it," said a source.
Patients are also suffering to the shortage of staff at the civil hospital as the authorities have sent some staff for training to the GGS medical college.
"I used to visit a private hospital. Of late, I started visiting the civil hospital, Kotkapura, to get treatment for diabetes, but when I visited it recently, I was attended to by a doctor, who only asked me to continue with the prescription telling me that the doctor concerned was on training. Surprising, the hospital does not have a weighing machine because the doctor asked to get my weight measured from outside," said a patient, wishing not to be named.
"The building, where the dialysis is proposed to be shifted was constructed for the blood bank. But, it has been found to be unsuitable for the blood bank as it does not meet specifications. A building should have a covered area of over 1,000 square feet to house the blood bank. But, it has only less than 800 sq feet. It raises the question on how the design of the building was passed when it did not meet the conditions. The health authorities have only shifted the non-functional dialysis unit from Faridkot to Kotkapura as a cover-up. However, we shall protest against it," said Devinder Neetu, a blood donor from Kotkapura.
The unit, which had two dialysis machines provided by the government, had been lying locked in district hospital at Faridkot for years allegedly due to the shortage of the staff and reluctance of patients to undergo dialysis there.
Dr Gaji Ujjair, senior medical officer at the civil hospital, Kotkapura, though admitted the shortage of doctors and paramedical staff, but claimed that the hospital would be able to run the facility."We have sent a doctor and two paramedical employees for training. It is in the interest of the area to have this unit here. It would not affect any daily functioning in the hospital. We are providing best service the staff available," he said.
"The doctor from Jaitu has been appointed in Kotkapura for three days a week and has been sent on 10-day training of the dialysis unit. He will hold additional charge of the unit. We will manage it efficiently despite the shortage of the staff in the Kotkapura hospital," said Dr Mohinder Singh Jassal, civil surgeon, Faridkot.