Cobras take over UP hospital | india | Hindustan Times
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Cobras take over UP hospital

When a health department team came to the Basantpur Community Health Centre in Siddharthnagar district on an inspection tour, it received an unusual greeting.

india Updated: Feb 18, 2006 19:44 IST

When a health department team came to the Basantpur Community Health Centre in Siddharthnagar district on an inspection tour, it received an unusual greeting.

Instead of attentive staff members waiting to show them all was well, there were some rather fierce cobras waiting for them in the deserted OPD and operation theatre.

Health mandarins at Lucknow had dispatched the fact-finding team after the Siddharthnagar chief medical officer, in his report, had informed them that hardly any patient visited Basantpur CHC and the ratio of admission was almost nil.

This is the same CHC which has a 30-bed ward, X-ray machine, ultra-sound unit and operation theatre, and on which the government spent Rs 5 crore. Half a dozen specialist doctors and a dozen paramedical staff man the hospital. The health department has even constructed houses for the hospital staff.

But no one stays here and after sunset, the hospital premises start resembling a ghost town. That’s because the staff move to nearby Baunsi town.

According to the report submitted by the team — after their inspection — they found only one doctor and three staffers on duty when there was supposed to be a surgeon, physician, gynaecologist, radiologist, anaesthetist, ophthalmologist, dentist and superintendent. What’s more, at dawn, they too disappeared, leaving one guard to look after the entire facility.

The whole place is powerless and a deep freezer installed to preserve life-saving drugs is lying defunct. This in a place where polio, filaria and TB are rampant.

The empty flats are missing doors, windows, wires, switches and taps — a sure sign that robbers have a free run of the place. “The residential area looked haunted, grass and wild bush was growing everywhere, making it an ideal place for snakes,” a member of the team said.

Dr B. Nath, DG, medical health, blamed the poor admission on the CHC’s location, saying it was in a desolate place and patients had to trek miles just to get here.