Most of the government dispensaries in the district are unable to serve the purpose for which they have been set up as the authorities concerned have failed to fill the posts of doctors, leaving patients, who visit these dispensaries, harassed.
Of the total 30 dispensaries in the district, only 12 have doctors and rest depend upon paramedical staff.
In the absence of dispensaries, several patients have to come all the way to Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital for treatment.
The irony is that doctors at Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital are assigned extra duties to handle the rush due to which they do not go to their respective dispensaries on daily basis.
An auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM), working in one of the dispensaries on the condition of anonymity, said, “Doctors hardly come to the dispensary as either they have duty in civil hospital or they take leave. Thus, I handle patients with normal ailments and refer others to the civil hospital.”
Urging the state government to upgrade the dispensaries of the district, Dr Satish Thaman, member, District Ludhiana West Sub Division Grievances Redressal Committee, said, “People have to go to private practitioners for common diseases due to shortage of doctors in dispensaries. If people can get proper government services nearby, they will surely take advantage of that.”
Dr Thaman said the dispensaries were facing several other problems, which include shortage of medicines, no proper duty time allotted to nurses, no emergency services and lack of proper infrastructure.
He said the government could take the help of big hospitals, NGOs and retired professionals to upgrade these dispensaries for the welfare of the poor.
Dr KS Saini, assistant civil surgeon, said, “There is staff scarcity in dispensaries and thus, most of
the dispensaries are run by paramedical staff only.”