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Sunday, Aug 18, 2019

Punjab’s Fazilka district grapples with shortage of doctors, 61 of 103 posts vacant

Data also show that there is a shortage of (60%) of specialist doctors with 28 vacancies against sanctioned posts of 48.

punjab Updated: Jul 29, 2018 11:35 IST
Sarbmeet Singh
Sarbmeet Singh
Hindustan Times, Fazilka
(Representative image )

The newly-created Fazilka district is grappling with shortage of doctors of over 50%, as 61 of 103 posts are lying vacant, official data that HT has accessed show. Both MBBS and specialist doctors are in short supply.

Data also show that there is a shortage of (60%) of specialist doctors with 28 vacancies against sanctioned posts of 48. In medical officers too, the shortage is 60% with 33 vacancies on 55.

The newly-constructed hospital building in Jalalabad, the constituency of former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, also awaits doctors. Three doctors work on deputation here. The posts of a medical officer, a paediatrician and a gynecologist is vacant.

Residents forced to go to Faridkot or Muktsar

A visit to the Jalalabad hospital, on Saturday, showed that people from nearby villages are forced to go to the Faridkot Medical College or Muktsar for health services. When HT reached the hospital, it saw the family of a 68-year-old woman, Swarn Kaur, who was to be treated for head injuries, leave the premises. They alleged that there was nobody to care for the patient. Finally, she was admitted at a private hospital in Muktsar, 30km from the city.

“The hospital shifted to this new building in 2016 during the SAD regime. The costly machines are useless in the absence of doctors. Staff nurses handle deliveries in normal cases and in emergencies we refer them to Faridkot or Fazilka,” said an employee of the hospital, requesting anonymity.

“During the SAD regime, when Surjit Kumar Jyani was the health minister, the posts of doctors were filled. With the change in power, we are getting a step-motherly treatment. It is unfortunate that the government has failed to provide health facilities. We are forced to go to distant places for treatment,” said Harlabh Singh, a resident.

Abohar senior medical officer Dr Amita Chowdhary said, “There is a severe shortage of doctors. We have written to officials a number of times, but in vain. Sometimes, doctors end up doing double duty. We are helpless.”

Fazilka civil surgeon Dr Surinder Kumar said, “I have raised the issue of shortage of doctors in monthly meetings a number of times. It is difficult to manage. We hope to get more doctors soon.”

Former health minister Surjit Kumar Jyani told HT over phone, “The government doesn’t seem to be serious about people’s problems. There is no effective government in the state. The CM does not even meet ministers.”

Health minister Brahm Mohindra said, “I am aware of the vacancies in the health department. We have conducted interviews of 504 specialists today and the process of recruitment of 306 medical officers is under process. Providing health facilities to residents is our priority.”

First Published: Jul 28, 2018 20:11 IST

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