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Ramakanta Biswas

Even as the Odisha government keeps making tall claims of improving health services in the State, two recent incidents at public health facilities have exposed the real picture of healthcare delivery system. 

While expired medicines were allegedly given to a patient in Bolangir district, patients at a hospital in Koraput district were treated with the help of torch lights due to power outage. 

In the first instance, a patient was given expired medicines from a Niramaya outlet at Santha Bhima Bhoi Medical College & Hospital in Bolangir. 

Santosh Kumar Sahu, a resident of Pudapalli under Puintala block had visited the hospital on Tuesday for treatment as he was suffering from cold and fever. After consultation, a doctor at the hospital prescribed him two medicines. 

However, Sahu was shocked to find that the (consumption) date of one of the two medicines given by the staff at the Niramaya centre located on the hospital premises had already expired. The validity of the medicine had expired in August, 2021.

When contacted, the superintendent of the MCH assured that the matter will be investigated. 

“We will inquire into the matter. Generally, the effectiveness of medicines decrease once the expiry date is over. We have not come across any major reaction due to the intake of the expired medicines,” claimed the superintendent. 

In the second instance, patients including pregnant women and children were treated with the help of torch light at Boipariguda Community Health Centre (CHC) owing to power cut for about six hours on Tuesday. 

Nurses were seen treating the patients in the absence of doctors, triggering sharp reactions from the locals. 

Though the health centre has generator meant to be used during power cut, it was lying unused due to alleged negligence of the hospital authorities, it is alleged. 

“There was no alternative arrangement during power cut at the hospital. The doctor in-charge was also absent. When I called up him, the doctor assured to come in a few minutes, but did not turn up,” alleged the relative of a patient. 

The reaction of the health centre authorities on the allegations could not be obtained.

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