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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

Govt hospital shifted to new building but mars with acute shortage of staff

Navrajdeep Singh, Hindustan Times   Sangrur, April 26, 2013
First Published: 20:10 IST(26/4/2013) | Last Updated: 20:13 IST(26/4/2013)

'Great cry, little wool' seems to be best fitted when it comes to medical facilities and infrastructure at new built Community Health Center (CHC) in Dirba situated 20 km from here.

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Even though, CHC has been shifted to new building constructed with worth Rs. 40 crore, but nothing had changed much as CHC was marred with acute shortage of doctors including specialist doctors and medical equipments.

According to available information, with almost all posts of specialist doctors were lying vacant for past several months, there was no proper OPD and no admission in general and emergency cases since past two months raising questions over tall claims of state government to provide better health facilities in rural areas.

Besides the post of senior medical officer (SMO), who was also ENT specialist, only a MBBS doctor was taking care of 30 bedded CHC that catered the medical need of around 50 villages.

Notably the post other specialist doctors including surgery, gynecologist, medicines, Skin, ophthalmology and radiologist were lying vacant over a year. Even, out of five sanctioned post of nurses, three posts were lying vacant.

The post of SMO was urgently filled on the directions of Deputy Commissioner Kumar Rahul a day prior to day of inauguration by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on February 11.      

Information available also revealed that besides shortage of medical staff, there were no proper equipments and furniture.

Against sanctioned 30 beds hospital, the health institution was available with only 10 beds that too shifted from old building while there was dearth of equipments in labour room, operation theatre, radiology room and testing laboratory.

The locks put on the gates of many rooms in the hospital had turned eye sore for local visitors as they had to visit either private hospitals or other government institutions in the district.

"What was need of spending crores on the building if government was not able to provide adequate staff and infrastructure?" said Parminder Singh of village Kaleka.   

The problem was more stored for pregnant women especially belonging to poor class, the families were forced to spend heavy amount varied from Rs. 8000 to 10,000 for deliveries in private hospitals against free institutional deliveries at government health centers.

"I have started my wife's treatment, who was three months old pregnant at some local private hospital that cost around Rs. 300 per visit. The government should at least make some arrangements for specialist gynecologist provide some relief to local villagers", said Gurshagun Singh, a resident of Ratolan near Dirba.

In case of emergency road accidents, the serious patients were shifted to other nearby hospital as it was not available with basic first aid facilities. 

Senior medical officer Dr Avneesh Sood said the senior authorities had already been acquainted with such staff crunch.  "We were hopeful that doctors and other required medical staff would soon be posted at Dirba CHC as state health department had already started recruitment process of specialist doctors", he said.

However, civil surgeon Dr Subodh Gupta could not be contacted as he had joined only on Friday.

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