Pradeep Pattanayak

The healthcare system in Odisha seems to have slipped into a comatose state with several reports of deteriorating service coming to the fore.

From uncontrollable Cholera in Rayagada’s Kashipur, which has so far claimed 10 lives, to increasing diarrhoea cases in Gajapati district to non-cancer patient losing organ due to cancer treatment at SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack, 21 patients at MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur becoming serious after administration of wrong injection and patient at Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar dying due to administration of wrong injection, the instances only paint a dismal picture of the caved-in healthcare system in the State. 

Now, questions like why the State government which lapped up appreciation for its pandemic management is committing such mistakes and who is responsible for this are being raised. Even social activists have expressed their concern over the sordid state of healthcare delivery. 

Terming the primary health centre (PHC) and community health centre (CHC) as the foundation of the healthcare system, social activist Jagadananda said, “If the foundation is weak, the building on it can’t be strong. So is our State’s healthcare system.”

On the other hand, Health Minister Naba Das admitted that the Cholera situation has become serious. 

“In Rayagada’s Kashipur, the total number of cases was 156. The number of death may be more than nine, but it is nine according to reports we have. And the number of patients at hospitals was 146. As on today, the number of such patients must have declined,” informed Das. 

Meanwhile, the Opposition party targeted the government over the pathetic state of the healthcare system. 

“The healthcare system in the State has caved in, resulting in people being at the receiving end. The sufferings people are experiencing are inexplicable. The healthcare system has completely failed in the State,” observed BJP Spokesperson Dillip Mohanty. 

Congress MLA Suresh Routray said, “I urge the government to probe the recent incidents of medical negligence and take stringent action against whosoever is found responsible.”

But, the BJD claimed the healthcare system is in good condition in the State. 

“It is the duty of the Opposition to raise issues. But the real picture is that the healthcare system is fine. The lion's share of the budget has been allocated to the healthcare sector,” said BJD MLA Rajkishore Das.