Ad hoc arrangements seem to have become the order of the day here as far as health administration is concerned. This despite the fact that poor people from rural pockets of the district are still struggling to get proper health care services.
Sources said the Health Department recently clipped administrative power of the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the Rourkela Government Hospital (RGH) and also ignored the demand for bifurcation of the vast Sundargarh health district at the October 12 meeting.
At the Maoist-hit Bonai sub-division and some parts of Panposh sub-division, health services still are a pipe dream. Bonai and Panposh are far away from the Sundargarh district headquarters which often results in ineffective monitoring.
For instance, the community health centres (CHCs) at Koida, Lahunipara, K Balang and Gurundia along with the Bonai sub-divisional hospital are 165 to 200 km from Sundargarh. Similarly, the primary health centres (PHCs) at Hathibari, Kuanrmunda and Birkera besides the CHC at Bisra are 114 to 130 km from Sundargarh. To worsen the situation, doctors in these health centres frequently remain absent.
Social activist Sridhar Mallick said authorities should take the road route to Koida or Gurundia blocks to know the ground realities.
“Due to the long distance from CDMO’s headquarters in Sundargarh, monitoring the implementation of health services is next to impossible,” he said.
With health services failing to reach the under-privileged in most of the interior pockets, the demand for bifurcation of the health administration in Sundargarh district had been gaining steam.
The intelligentsia have demanded carving out a Rourkela health district from the Sundargarh health district on the lines of the existing two police districts, three educational districts and three forest divisions in
the revenue district of Sundargarh.
Former Congress MLA Pravat Mohapatra sought intervention of the Chief Minister and said that a separate health district should be carved out comprising the Panposh and Bonai sub-divisions.
He shot off a letter to the Governor on October 17 demanding development of the Rourkela Government Hospital (RGH) on the lines of Capital Hospital, Bhubaneswar, and elevating the RGH CMO’s post to the rank of Health Director in the larger interest of the urban poor.