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CHC: COBRA HAUNTED CENTRE

GUESS WHO all wecomed a Health Department team which went inspecting the Basantpur Community Health Centre (CHC) located in Siddharthnagar district. No, they were not the properly dress staff members manning the CHC. There was hardly any soul around. Instead, the team was greeted by some full-grown cobras roaming in the deserted OPD and operation theatre. So is the condition of our CHCs.

india Updated: Feb 14, 2006 01:21 IST

Health Dept fact-finding team gets that hissing feeling

GUESS WHO all wecomed a Health Department team which went inspecting the Basantpur Community Health Centre (CHC) located in Siddharthnagar district.

No, they were not the properly dress staff members manning the CHC. There was hardly any soul around. Instead, the team was greeted by some full-grown cobras roaming in the deserted OPD and operation theatre. So is the condition of our CHCs.

Health mandarins at Lucknow had dispatched a fact-finding team to the village after chief medical officer of Siddharthnagar in his report informed them that hardly any patients were visiting the Basantpur CHC and the ratio of admission in the ward was almost nil.

This CHC, on which the government spent Rs 5 crore, has a 30-bed ward, an X-ray machine, an ultra-sound unit and an operation theatre. Half a dozen specialist doctors and a dozen para medical staff man the hospital. Also, the Health Department has constructed residences for the doctors and employees.

But no one stays here and after sun set, all the staff moves to near by Baunsi town.

After returning from Basantpur, the team in its report said though a surgeon, physician, gynaecologist, radiologist, anesthetist, ophthalmologist, dentist and a superintendent stand posted in the hospital, only one doctor and three staffers were present on duty.

At dawn they too disappeared and a guard was left to look after the instruments and furniture. Though flats for doctors and paramedical staff had been constructed but miscreants took away the doors, window panels, wires, switches and taps. “The residential area looked haunted, large grass and wild bush has grown all over the premises, which has become an ideal place for snakes,” a member of the team said.

Though a deep freezer had been installed in the hospital to preserve life saving drugs, it was lying defunct due to non-availability of power.

During the national health programmes like polio, filaria, TB control etc the hospital superintendent hired a generator set to store the drugs in the freezer, he said.

DG, Medical Health, Dr B Nath said the Basantpur CHC was located at a desolate place away from Baunsi town. “Few patients visit the hospital since they have to trek long distances to visit the hospital. We are planning to amend the plan. Now on hospitals will be constructed in populated areas,” she said.

First Published: Feb 14, 2006 01:21 IST