Pradeep Pattanayak

The Odisha government's tall claims of providing better healthcare services to people have once again proved hollow after a critical patient was found being treated inside an auto-rickshaw under a mobile torchlight at Niali Community Health Centre (CHC) in Cuttack district on Thursday night.

The matter came to light after the video of the incident went viral. 

According to a source, Sheikh Sajid of Purba Khanda slum in Niali area brought his seriously-ill father to Niali CHC in an auto-rickshaw. The CHC has only two beds. When Sajid reached the CHC, the two beds had already been occupied. 
According to Sajid’s allegations, with no option left, the doctors had to treat his father inside the auto-rickshaw itself.

“The healthcare service at Niali CHC is in a pathetic state. When we reached the hospital, no bed was vacant. Our patient underwent treatment inside the auto-rickshaw,” alleged Sajid. 

When asked about the incident, the CHC authorities admitted it and expressed concern about it. 

“We have two beds at the hospital and both were occupied when the patient was brought here in an auto-rickshaw. It was the patient who insisted on treatment inside the auto-rickshaw. I admit that treating a patient in an auto-rickshaw is wrong. I have directed the doctors at the CHC to refer patients to other nearby hospitals if they find the two beds occupied,” said Dr S Navin, medical superintendent of Niali CHC, adding that the healthcare service has been affected due to lack of adequate infrastructure and a new building is under construction.  

(Reported by Binay Mishra from Niali)