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HindustanTimes Sun,23 Nov 2014

Civil hospital' drug de-addiction centre non-operational

Gurpreet Singh Chhina, Hindustan Times  Fatehgarh Sahib, August 03, 2014
First Published: 20:52 IST(3/8/2014) | Last Updated: 20:53 IST(3/8/2014)

Amid efforts by the state government to eradicate drug addiction, the civil hospital's de-addiciton centre has remained non-functional because of lack of a psychiatrist and counsellors.

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This had led to the Punjab government's drive not yielding the best results here, claimed doctors in the region. Moreover, doctors also complained a lack of medicines required for treatment.

It was learnt that apart from the facility at the civil hospital, special de-addiction camps organised in the district also had no psychiatrist or counsellors and the general physicians doubled up as counsellors.

Deputy medical commissioner Dr Jagpal Singh said that no drug addict had been treated at the facility since it was established because staff had not been recruited exclusively for the centre.

"Though the administration built a de-addiction centre, it failed to recruit staff and this prevented admitting of patients," he said.

He said that psychiatrists required specific medicines while treating patients addicted to high-potency drugs like smack, opium or cocaine. But these medicines were not provided by either the local administration or the state government. He added that the non availability of staff also prevented the constant monitoring of patients.

However, he said interviews were scheduled for August 9 to hire staff.

Fatehgarh Sahib civil surgeon Gurdit Singh Sodhi said that they had treated around 3,200 patients, in spite of the shortcomings. While the government had appointed a psychiatrist, he had not joined duty, he said.

"I informed senior officers about this on Friday and they have assured to address the issue."

Sources said that 3,200 patients, treated between June 1 and July 17, were enrolled through special campaigns as the hospital's de-addiction centre had not admitted any patients. 

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