The intentions were good, but Rajindra Medical College and Hospital required more than that.
On March 24, last year, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had promised to spend Rs. 150 crore on Rajindra hospital in the next two years to make it a super-specialty hospital. One year down the line, the institute is yet to receive a single penny.
“The Punjab government will develop Rajindra Medical College and Hospital into a state-of-the-art medical institution in the region by spending Rs. 150 crore in the next two years on upgrading equipment and infrastructure,” the CM had said when he visited the medical college and hospital, along with medical education minister Bhagat Chunni Lal and rural development minister Surjit Singh Rakhra.
A senior hospital functionary, on condition of anonymity, confirmed to Hindustan Times that the institute didn't receive a single penny since the CM had made the announcment.
Inquiries made by HT revealed that in the last one year, the financial position of the premier health institute has gone from bad to worse with the management receiving a meagre sum of Rs. 6 crore through different budget allocations.
Notably, the hospital is facing acute shortage of doctors, nurses and other paramedical staff for more than a decade. The building of the hospital is in a dilapidating condition, besides lack of equipment.
Meanwhile, the patients in the hospital are a harassed lot in the wake of lack of facilities. The hospital caters to poor and needy patients from Patiala, Sangrur, Fatehgarh Sahib districts, besides many parts of Haryana, situated along the border with Patiala and Sangrur districts.
When contacted, Rakhra said, “The money has been released from Chandigarh. I don't know exactly, but a few crores have reached the hospital. If you want, I can ask from the hospital authorities the exact amount they have received,” he said. He, however, was eager to know which official was claiming that not a single penny had been released to the hospital.
Medical college principal KD Singh and medical superintendent Dr VK Sharda refused to comment on the issue.
'Hospital victim of govt apathy'
Former minister and Congress MLA from Patiala (rural), Brahm Mohindra said Rajindra Hospital was a victim of SAD-BJP government's apathy. “The pathetic condition of the Rajindra Hospital belie the claim of the SAD-BJP government on providing best healthcare facilities. I don't know under what circumstances the CM had made the announcement and by doing so he had played with the emotions of the poorest of the poor, who visit government hospitals in want of relief,” he said.