KORAPUT: The best of intentions can fall apart if not backed with commensurate action. A month after the visit of 5T Secretary VK Pandian and announcement of slew of measures to improve healthcare services, the Sahid Laxman Nayak Medical College and Hospital here presents such a picture with situation going from bad to worse.
One of the major actions taken during the visit was to stop the practice of sending patients to private centres for diagnostic and laboratory tests. In the absence of adequate infrastructure, equipment and manpower, the patients have now fallen victims to the reforms process. The posts of Professor, Assistant Professor and senior residents doctor are lying vacant in the Radiology department of the MCH. The lone Associate Professor is on leave since the last 10 months. Another doctor, deputed from the DHH, is trained exclusively on ultrasound tests of pregnant women. Thus, patients requiring ultrasound tests for other health problems are unable to avail services of the Radiology department.
While the Pathology department is hamstrung by lack of adequate equipment, laboratory chemicals and manpower, the dialysis unit is also in a state of disarray. The unit, run by a Chandigarh-based outsourcing agency on PPP mode, often fails to operate due to power problem. Recently, six patients with kidney ailments were sent back home after the dialysis machine stopped midway due to power outage.
This apart, the patients are being deprived of getting free medicines under Niramaya scheme as a lack of coordination has affected the maintenance of stock. While the doctors have been directed to strictly prescribe Niramaya medicines, lack of the drugs at the Niramaya counters has seriously affected patients. Similarly, acute manpower shortage has crippled healthcare service delivery in the hospital. In Medicine department, the posts of Professor, Assistant and Associate professor are vacant and some Senior Resident doctors are managing the affairs.
The State Government is yet to sanction a Casualty department in the MCH. The authorities have converted a room into Casualty ward which is being managed by a handful of doctors if and when required. As per guidelines, the Casualty department should have an exclusive team of doctors and staff round the clock. In Orthopaedic department, a Professor and two Senior Resident doctors are managing the affairs. However, due to non-availability of implants, instruments and equipment, patients are being referred to MKCG MCH at Berhampur for even a minor surgery.
Dean and Principal Dr KC Biswal said the district administration has sanctioned `15 lakh to Swasthya Bikash Samiti (SBM). But out of the total amount, only `4 lakh can be spent on procuring implants and equipment and the rest `11 lakh will be used on other heads. For now, the amount will meet the requirement but after it is exhausted, the Orthopaedic department will face difficulties in managing the affairs in absence of funds. The MCH Superintendent should be vested powers to indent medicine as per requirement. “I am hopeful that the State Government will do the needful soon,” the Dean added.