KENDRAPARA: Shortage of doctors has hit health services in 230 gram panchayats of Kendrapara district. Posts of 38 doctors have been lying vacant in the rural areas since long affecting about 14.6 lakh people dependent on them.
Of the 84 doctor posts sanctioned for rural areas of the district, 46 are lying vacant for the last two years. In the Primary Health Centres (PHCs) at Mahu, Palimi, Batipada, Sanamanga, Dashipur, Alapua, Tulasidiha, Badapada, Sanajaria and Gobindapur, the posts have not been filed up for more than a year.
In the Community Health Centres (CHC) at Aul, the posts of medicine, paediatric and gynaecologist specialists are vacant for more than two years. At Danapur and Biranilakanthapur PHCs, the vacancies have been existing for more than nine months. The paediatric and gynaecologist posts at Indupur CHC are also vacant for the past two years.
Absence of health services has posed immense trouble for the villagers living within the Bhitarkanika National Park limits. As the PHCs at Iswarpur and Talachua within the park have no doctor for more than a year, the villagers have to depend on hospitals in Bhadark district. They have to cross the crocodile-infested rivers within the park to reach the neighbouring district, said Nrusingh Das of Talachua.
A senior doctor of district hospital, on condition of anonymity, said the health centres need an urgent revamp and the Government should focus on improving the existing facilities.
In the absence of specialists, para-medical staff are managing the show, taking some crucial decisions, which prove fatal on many occasions.
Quacks, meanwhile, are having a field day in several remote villages and a large number of gullible villagers are falling prey to them, said Amarbara Biswal, a social worker of Kendrapara.
Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) Dr Binayak Prusti said the authorities concerned have been informed about the vacancies in the district and hoped that the Government will soon appoint more doctors.