One of the oldest hospitals in Capital City - Bhubaneswar Municipal Hospital - is ailing. While from outside the hospital bears a new look with a fresh coat of white wash, there are no takers for the health facilities inside. Although it is the referral hospital for smaller dispensaries in the city, health services here are in a disarray. Almost all the wards in the hospital wear an empty look.
Reason, the hospital neither has adequate number of doctors to look after the patients nor para-medical staff to operate the equipment.
Located near Lingaraj temple in the Old Town area, at present, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) manages the 108-bed Corporation hospital. Locals alleged that in case of emergency, the existing doctors at the hospital refer the cases to private hospitals in the city.
Chief Medical Officer NK Sahu said there are no specialists in departments like radiology and orthopaedics. There is one specialist each in gynaecology and as many in pediatrics department. While the sanctioned doctor strength in gynaecology department is four, that of pediatrics is two. While an anaesthetist has been hired on contract, the hospital’s only post of ENT surgeon lies unoccupied for around a year now. In fact, the hospital is without a pathologist and a radiologist for more than a year, severely affecting diagnostic services. The only post of psychiatrist is also vacant and there are only three regular nurses while a large number of technician posts are lying vacant, he added. ‘’In the absence of a regular doctors, we are mostly dependent on contractual doctors,’’ the Chief Medical Officer added.
Few weeks back, members of Ekamra Bikash Manch staged agitation and threatened to lock the hospital if doctors are not appointed at the earliest and renovation works not undertaken. President of the Manch Rashmi Mohapatra said it has been over two years now that the Corporation Hospital is being managed without specialist doctors and other staff to handle the medical equipment. Equipment worth crores are gathering dust due to shortage of technical staff, added Rashmi.
‘’Although the hospital has been managing with just a handful of doctors, the BMC is doing nothing. It is rather spending funds on renovating the old building,’’ said Arun Kumar Behera, a local who stays close by the hospital. He alleged that a portion of the hospital is used by paan shop owners nearby to store their stock of cold drinks and other eatables.
Sources said even as the BMC had decided to relocate the Corporation hospital (as the existing building has become weak) to a place near Annie House Square in Old Town, no work on this has been initiated yet. ‘’We had approached the General Administration Department to provide us land for the purpose, but there has been no response from their side,’’ said Mayor Ananta Jena.
Besides the Corporation hospital, the BMC runs allopathic dispensaries at Kapilprasad, GGP Colony, Gadakana and Bharatpur and 11 homeopathic dispensaries in the city. These dispensaries too face severe shortage of doctors.
The Corporation hospital started operating in the late 1930s under the district board. It later came under the administrative control of the Bhubaneswar Notified Area Council (NAC) and then the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation.
The Mayor added that BMC is looking into appointment of doctors on contract basis for both the Corporation hospital and the dispensaries.