There cannot be a starker picture of the sorry state-of-affairs in the Government healthcare delivery system of the State than a Collector having to be admitted to a private charitable hospital instead of the District Headquarters Hospital (DHH) as it did not have the minimum basic diagnostic and treatment facilities.
Such is the situation in Nabarangpur district, where Collector Y Sarangi had to be taken to the charitable hospital to be treated for abdominal problems for the DHH neither had doctors nor diagnostic facilities to ascertain her condition. The High Court-appointed Committee on Health systems has reported following an assessment visit to the district.
The district, which is now the epicentre of diarrhoea outbreak, seriously lacks healthcare facilities to come to the aid of the backward and impoverished tribal-dominated populace of the region.
The 72-bed DHH languishes in a pitiable condition sans doctors and infrastructure. The DHH, in fact, functions with three specialists _ the CDMO, ADMO and a casualty medical officer.
For the last six months, the DHH has been functioning without a Medicine Specialist. Surgeons have not been appointed by the Government and the two modern operation theatres in the hospital have been lying unutilised since they were set up.
The Obstetrics and Gynaecology wing has also gone dysfunctional since the retirement of the gynaecologist. The hospital does not even have an anaesthetist.
“The conditions prevailing in the DHH are unimaginable. Poor patients are being sent to the Koraput DHH for treatment incurring serious problems in the process. When the district collector is forced to seek refuge at a charitable hospital, it clearly reflects the state-of-affairs,” committee member and amicus curiae PR Das said.
In another neighbouring district of Kalahandi, the DHH presents a picture in contrast. The hospital is well-managed with doctors posted and available in all the major disciplines like medicine, gynaecology, orthopaedics, surgery, paediatrics, etc. The 165-bed hospital has been able to carve out male and female units.
It, however, requires upgradation of the gynaecology wing and establishment of a maternity ward. The hospital conducts more than 600 deliveries a month with over 100 through Caesarian section.
A four-bed ICU has been set up and equipment installed in it but it has not been operational due to lack of doctors. There is a requirement of three doctors to make the ICU functional, Das said.