Patients bear the brunt of lack of facilities in Araria district hospital
At present, the hospital just has 11 doctors, against the sanctioned strength of 46. It has 15 grade -A nurses, against the sanctioned strength of 60.Updated: Jul 05, 2019, 16:03 IST
When Juber Alam, an Araria resident, recently brought his pregnant wife to the Araria Sadar (district) Hospital in the hope of a safe delivery, he was asked to rush her to Purnia Sadar Hospital as there was no gynecologist there.
“It has been reduced to a referral hospital,” Alam says of the 100-bed hospital which is suffering from severe shortage of staff and other facilities.
Residents says accident victims have to be rushed to Purnia for urgent treatment as the Araria Sadar Hospital does not even have an orthopedic surgeon.
“Once my brother met with an accident. We could luckily save him by rushing him to a private hospital in Purnia,” says Md Haroon Rashid Gafil, a lawyer practising at Araria civil court.
The district hospital neither has a physician nor an anaesthetist or a gynaecologist.
At present, the hospital just has 11 doctors, against the sanctioned strength of 46. It has 15 grade -A nurses, against the sanctioned strength of 60.
“You can’t treat a patient properly without adequate number of paramedical staff and equipment,” said a doctor at the hospital.
The hospital has an operation theatre (OT), but there is no anaesthetist or OT assistant. The two surgeons at the hospital mostly fill in as physicians as there is no physician at the hospital.
Around 500 to 600 patients visit OPD daily and 100 patients at the emergency ward.
As far as pathological tests are concerned, they are done without a pathologist. While some tests like total blood counts, sugar, albumin, elisa test and X-ray are done at the hospital, patients have to go elsewhere for ultrasound and ECG. “Our ultrasonography and CT scan will start functioning in the next few months,” Araria civil surgeon (CS) Dr Suresh Prasad Sinha said, adding that a few more doctors would be joining shortly.
However, district programme manager (DPM) Rehan Asraf is not very optimistic. “No doctor wants to join in the district. Despite notification for posting of doctors in the district, no one has joined here during the last over five years.”
Sadar hospital apart, the overall picture of health services in Araria district is not encouraging either. The district, as per government data, has one doctor for every one lakh people. The district’s population is about 31 lakh.
Doctors here have also been under tremendous pressure, given the number of patients. “Any disturbance at the primary health centre (PHC) or referral hospital is due to acute shortage of doctors and paramedic staff,” Dr Rajesh Kumar said.
Araria has two referral hospitals, at Raniganj and Jokihat, besides one sub-divisional hospital at Forbesganj and nine PHCs. “But everywhere, we are insecure and most vulnerable,” Dr Bipin Kumar working at Narpatganj PHC said, referring to routine violence against doctors.
In the absence of robust health care services in the district, quacks have taken over. Almost every village has a quack, not only prescribing medicines but also performing surgeries. Many of these quacks can be seen in the district hospital too.
A few years ago, the police had busted a racket of quacks who has performed 53 tubectomies at Kaparporha village under Kursakanta, leaving two women dead. Director of an NGO was also arrested in this connection.