JAGATSINGHPUR: Shortage of doctors and lack of adequate infrastructure have crippled healthcare services in the district. Against the total sanctioned strength of 157, hospitals in the district are running with only 68 doctors.
Of 58 sanctioned posts, 15 doctors are posted in the district headquarters hospital (DHH). As per reports, the DHH has one medicine specialist against the sanctioned two, one gynaecologist against three and one pediatric specialist against the sanctioned three. This apart, the posts of orthopaedic radiologist and six general medical officers are lying vacant in the hospital. Similarly, out of 25 sanctioned leave medical officers, only three are working in the DHH.
Moreover, the two sanctioned posts of anaesthesia specialists are lying vacant in the DHH for which hundreds of critical patients including pregnant women are forced to go to private clinics for operation by spending huge amount of money.
Apart from the DHH, posts of doctors and specialists are lying vacant in different CHCs and PHCs of the district. In Manijanaga CHC, all the posts of five doctors including four specialists are vacant. Similarly in Kujang CHC, three out of five doctor posts are lying vacant while two of the five sanctioned posts in Erasama CHC remain vacant. In absence of doctors, AYUSH practitioners are managing the healthcare services in rural areas, sources said.
In November last year, four doctors were suspended by Health Minister Pratap Jena for not implementing the free medicine distribution plan under Niramaya scheme. However, no new doctors have been appointed in place of the suspended medicos till date. The patients alleged that apart from doctor crunch, shortage of attendants and sweepers has also affected delivery of health services in various hospitals.
On the other hand, lack of infrastructure has hit the services in the DHH. The ultrasound machine is lying defunct since its installation eight years back. Chemotherapy treatment, which was launched about two months back, has been stopped.
Chief District Medical Officer (in-charge) Maheswar Pradhan admitted to the problem and said as there are no anaesthesia specialists in the DHH, it is difficult to perform surgeries. Only minor operations are being done in the hospital while critical cases including C-section of pregnant women are referred to SCB Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack, he added.