Punjab: Ayurvedic dispensaries struggle with shortage of docs, pharmacists
There are 806 dispensaries across the state, out of which 524 are run by the state ayurveda department and 282 are under the National Health Mission
Ayurvedic primary health centres in the state are struggling from a staff shortage, forcing doctors and pharmacists to run multiple dispensaries alone.
There are 806 dispensaries across the state, out of which 524 are run by the state ayurveda department and 282 are under the National Health Mission (NHM). In the dispensaries run by the department, according to director Ravi Dumra, there were vacancies for 150 doctors and 200 pharmacists.
“Due to the staff shortage, we have to assign doctors and pharmacists to work at different pharmacies on different days. Some have to be kept closed on some days to keep the other ones functioning,” said Dumra.
“Despite the crunch, we have managed to keep all the 524 centres functional in whatever capacity,” he added.
The NHM dispensaries were faring even bad. Only 182 of these are functional and doctors are available around only 110 dispensaries, according to Dr Wahid Mohammad, president of NHM Doctors Union Punjab.
He said the burden on the public health system could be eased easily if these health centres were staffed adequately.
“According to the AYUSH mission, ayurveda, homoeopathy, unani and yoga etc., should be available under a single roof in these centres,” said Mohammad. “However, due to the state of affairs, the dispensaries were in, they were not able to contribute anywhere close to what they actually could,” he added.
It is pertinent here to mention that the Central government has been promoting Ayurveda and other medical systems. This year in the interim budget, the AYUSH ministry was allocated ₹3712.49 crore, which is 23.74 per cent more than the last year.