Century-old hospital suffers on several counts - The New Indian Express

Century-old hospital suffers on several counts

Published: 16th November 2012 09:57 AM

Last Updated: 16th November 2012 09:57 AM

The district headquarters hospital here is virtually functioning on a life-support.

The hospital, like several others across the State, too is not spared of the perennial problem of shortage of equipment and doctors, besides a host of other problems.

Worse, the bed strength is just 184 against the requirement of 300 as around 270 patients get admitted to the hospital daily. The facilities are, therefore, stretched to the limit.

This 100-year-old hospital is the oldest and biggest government hospital catering to the people of Balangir, Kalahandi, Sonepur, Boudh and Nuapada. In the last financial year, the hospital saw 1,90,460 outdoor and 39,793 indoor patients.

The hospital has no MRI scanning machine and other equipment that are essential to alleviate the sufferings of patients and save lives. Junior doctors continue to be relied upon in many departments due to the existing vacancies. Some doctors have gone on long leave making the matters worse for the hospital administrators. The  radiologist and anaesthetist posts are vacant for several years and a senior medicine specialist is on a long leave compounding patients’ problems.

 In 2004, the intensive care unit (ICU) was dedicated at the district headquarters hospital. Equipment worth Rs 20 lakh was installed in the ICU then. However, as on today, the facility is lying defunct due to lack of maintenance. As a result, critical patients are being referred to VSS Medical at Burla.

 In the absence of proper facilities, the patients are forced to go to private hospitals. Patients alleged that essential medicines and even saline are unavailable in the hospital and they are forced to procure those from medical shops even as the hospital should be providing them free.

The building too is unsafe. Last year, there were back-to-back incidents of ceiling fans falling off.

Fortunately, patients had a close shave. All this despite the fact that the headquarters hospital receives sufficient funds under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). It got Rs 36 crore under the Mission in 2011-12.

 Moreover, the primary health centres (PHCs) which should fulfil the people’s requirements locally to the maximum extent possible, have a lot to be desired. The quality of services rendered in PHCs and also the facilities available in them are pathetic, a fact that even higher officials in the Health Department have acknowledged.

Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) Bikrant Kindo admitted to the poor infrastructure. He said a 120-bed hospital building is under construction in the vicinity of DHH. “After its completion, this hospital will be able to get the status of a medical college and hospital,” he said.

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