RAYAGADA: The District Headquarters Hospital at Rayagada has no provision of safe drinking water for patients.The 300-bed hospital was inaugurated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik last year. Construction of the hospital building was started during the tenure of former Collector Sashi Bhusan Padhi in 2013 and completed last year at a cost of Rs 23 crore. The hospital building is categorised under G5 building (five-storey building and ground floor). However, there is no facility for drinking water much to the resentment of both indoor and outdoor patients.
The District Headquarters Hospital is considered one of the biggest hospitals in the area with hundreds of people of Rayagada and nearby places depending on it. According to reports, the DHH caters to at least 500 outdoor patients everyday. The Indoor facility gets around 200 patients every day.
Apparently, drinking water facilities are available in only the Surgery, Medicine wards and blood bank. "However, the drinking water taps and filters are under the control of medical staff in these wards and the blood bank. They usually do not allow patients to use them and water from the lone tubewell in front of the blood bank is extremely unhygienic and unfit for consumption," said Sasmita Patnaik, an attendant of a patient who is undergoing physiotherapy at the hospital. Patients who cannot afford to purchase packaged drinking water bottles are forced to consume water from the tubewell.
Congress leader Applaswamy Kadraka said safe drinking water is a regular demand of patients in the hospital but no one pays attention. "Crores of rupees have been sanctioned for infrastructure development of the hospital from various sources including the National Health Mission but nothing is being done to address the issue," Kadraka said.
Contacted, Chief District Medical Officer Saroj Kant Nayak admitted to the problem and said provision of drinking water will be made in every ward of the hospital including the Outdoor very soon. He clarified that as work is on to install fire safety equipment throughout the hospital, the drinking water component has been delayed.