Govt apathy mars fate of disabled
Punjab's only artificial limb and physiotherapy centre is reeling under thick crisis of funds and staff shortage. The state government's claims to provide better infrastructure and health facilities have taken a sudden nosedive and the centre's condition has gone from bad to worse in the past six years.Updated: Jul 02, 2013 00:50 IST
Punjab's only artificial limb and physiotherapy centre is reeling under thick crisis of funds and staff shortage.
The state government's claims to provide better infrastructure and health facilities have taken a sudden nosedive and the centre's condition has gone from bad to worse in the past six years.
Set up around 48 years ago, the centre is being currently run by only six employees against 30 posts sanctioned for different levels of the hierarchy.According to the information available, no grants have been sanctioned for the centre in the past three years, raising questions over the state government's efforts to provide better facilities to disabled people.
One of the employees on the condition of anonymity said the machinery, which was out of order for the past two years, had been auctioned last week.
“Under such conditions, we have no option but to ask patients to purchase raw material of limbs from the market and then approach us,” the employee said.Artificial limbs cost between Rs 200 and Rs 550 at the centre, but private hospitals charge above Rs 1,000.
Pertinently, all four posts of a limb maker, two of brace maker, three of leather maker, one each of shoemaker, woodworker, carpenter and welder are lying vacant for the past one decade, while two posts of machinist, one each of blacksmith, helper and leg arm supervisor have been lying vacant for the past six years.
Besides staff shortage, the centre is crying for its own building as the authorities of the Government Rajindra Hospital and Medical College had shifted it from the hospital premises to one of the government accommodations meant for doctors in December 2011.
Sources said that since 2007, the condition of the centre had been depleting and several proposals, seeking funds, had been sent to the state medical education and research department, but all in vain.
Pulling up his defence barricades, KD Singh, principal of Government Rajindra Hospital and Medical College, said: “We had shifted the centre to the new place because the centre's old building was declared unsafe. A new building is being constructed for the centre on the hospital premises, which will be ready in two months. This is the maximum we could do with the available resources.”
Several attempts to contact Dr Tejbir Singh, director of research and medical education (DRME), turned futile as he remained unavailable for comment.