Fund crunch shuts eye care centre

Published: 30th September 2016 03:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th September 2016 03:47 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

PARADIP: After running for almost three years, the State’s first tele-ophthalmic vision centre, set up at Biju Memorial Hospital in Paradip, has been closed due to fund crunch and staff shortage. Closure of the centre has disappointed several eye patients of the district.
In 2013, the facility, set up jointly by Essar Ports and Essar Foundation, was inaugurated by Excise Minister  Damodar Rout. This was the first such unit to have been set up in a Government hospital by a corporate house in Odisha. It was also the first tele-medicine centre set up in Paradip.
The Essar Foundation had engaged four staffers, including an ophthalmic technician, to provide eye care services free of cost to the locals who are victims of rising air pollution in the area. It functioned smoothly for a few days after inauguration. Later, the staffers did not come to the centre affecting healthcare service. For the last 15 days, the centre has been closed.
As a result, hundreds of eye patients visiting the centre are forced to return without treatment.
Locals alleged that due to indifferent attitude of the company and non-release of CSR fund, the centre has been closed.
A senior officer of the company said steps are being taken to sort out issues relating to management of CSR fund and the centre will reopen soon. Biju Memorial Hospital Medical Officer Prafulla Chandra Dixit said though Essar company had engaged four staffers in the centre, non-payment of remuneration to them led to closure of the centre.

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