Owing to heavy rush and lack of necessary medicines, the city residents seem to be unhappy with the functioning of a total of five dispensaries, and are of the view that instead of six-hour time, these should be open for nine hours, and that a doctor should be available on holidays too.
According to the health department officials, the proposals have already been sent to increase the timings from six hours to nine hours (9am-7pm), and regarding availability of a paramedical staff member from 1pm to 7pm.
There are total five dispensaries — Phases 1,5, 7, 9 and 11— in SAS Nagar. The residents feel that though the infrastructure is good, the timings should be extended till evening.
MM Chopra, senior vice-president, house owners’ welfare association, Phase 1, said, “Due to the limited timings of these dispensaries, people have to rush to private hospitals for any kind of medical aid, even if it means having to pay double the money. On holidays, the dispensaries are closed so people are left with no option but to go to a civil hospital or a private hospital. The need of the hour is to have a permanent doctor, even on holidays.”
However, PS Virdi, chief, consumer protection federation, SAS Nagar, said non-availability of even basic medicines at these dispensaries make them good for nothing as poor people have to anyway go the market to buy expensive medicines.
Meanwhile, Dr Andesh Kang, senior medical officer, SAS Nagar, said, “The part-time doctors have already been hired for evening hours, who would work from 1pm to 7pm, besides the paramedical staff will also be present from 9am to 7pm.”
Out of five dispensaries in SAS Nagar, three of them have been upgraded to primary health care centres.
Talking about the major initiatives of these dispensaries, she said each dispensary holds weekly Mamta diwas, immunisation camps, community awareness programmes, mother and child tracking, identification of high risk cases, distribution of iron and albendazole in schools and taking care of girl children in schools and residential areas.
SAS Nagar chief medical officer Neelam Bhardwaj said, “There is proper supply of all necessary medicines at all dispensaries of the city. If someone is not getting medicines at these health care centres, he/she should contact us.”