Even after 30 years of its formation, healthcare services in Jagatsinghpur district are in disarray, thanks to the lack of sufficient number of doctors in the District Headquarters Hospital (DHH).
With 18 doctor posts lying vacant for a long time, health facilities in the DHH are in a pathetic state. Adding to the woes of patients, at least six doctors have been sent to Cuttack-based SCB Medical College and Hospital on deputation.
As per reports, the DHH has posts for a total of 58 doctors. However, even after so many years, the government has appointed only 40 doctors. Furthermore, six doctors have been sent on deputation to SCB, severely crippling healthcare services.
Angry patients expressed displeasure and wondered if the appointment of doctors was only on pen and paper. With just 34 doctors in the DHH now, patients have to queue for hours together for check-ups and medicine prescriptions.
On most days, patients queue outside while the doctors are nowhere to be seen.
Due to lack of modern equipment and to avoid workload, the doctors allegedly refer patients to Cuttack SCB thereby putting the lives of the patients in jeopardy. In many cases, patients have died mid-way after being referred to Cuttack, alleged locals.
“I have been standing in the queue for 45 minutes now. We need more doctors here. Just a handful of doctors cannot attend so many patients who come here from different parts of the district for treatment. There are 100s of patients standing in the queue now,” a patient Hemant Mishra rued.
Similarly, Nalini Mohapatra, an attendant of a patient said, “There is only one counter for medicine. Moreover, the doctors also leave after 12 PM. There should be at least two outdoor counters as many patients depend on the DHH for health services.”
“As a District Headquarters Hospital, there are not enough facilities here. Just building the hospital will not do. They have to fill the doctor posts and provide proper infrastructure and modern medical equipment. For a minor thing, they refer to Cuttack SCB. Doctors also do not come to the hospital on time, thereby affecting healthcare services at the DHH,” Srikant Choudhary, a senior citizen of Jagatsinghpur alleged.
The Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) has confirmed that there is shortage of doctors, but said that they were leaving no stone unturned to provide proper treatment to the patients.
“The construction of an ICU and a casualty ward is almost on the verge of completion. They will be made functional soon. Moreover, an MCH building is under construction. It will be completed by February next year,” the CDMO Khetrabasi Das said.
(Reporter: Sashank Shekhar Panda, OTV)