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Cassian Baliarsingh

Healthcare seems to have gone for a toss in several hospitals across the State, thanks to the absence of doctors and the indifferent attitude of the administration. 

Even as the Odisha government claims to have spent crores to uplift hospitals and install modern equipment for better treatment of patients, the ground reality proves otherwise.

A glaring example is the plight of Chandbali Community Health Centre (CHC) in Bhadrak district. Lying unused for months together, medical equipment worth lakhs of rupees are left to rust in the CHC. 

As per reports, at least six doctors and two Ayush doctors have been appointed for the CHC. However, most of them remain absent for months together. Patients come to the CHC only to find the OPD locked from outside.

“While the government has appointed doctors, they remain absent most of the time. Most of them come once or twice a week. Patients have to stand in long queues for hours together to get appointments with doctors. We have to queue again for medicines. Half the day goes in queuing,” a patient Sushant Nayak alleged.

Sarat Palei, relative of a patient said, “We have brought a patient to the CHC , but there is no sight of a doctor. This has been a regular affair. We come in the hope of proper treatment, but are forced to return home empty-handed.”

Hundreds of people from across 40 panchayats depend on the CHC. Moreover, patients from Rajkanika in Kendrapara district also come to the CHC for treatment. However, in the absence of doctors, they have to go through unwanted problems, alleged a local.

When contacted, the CHC in-charge, Dr. Bishnu Sahu said, “There are five doctors now. We have taken action against them. Their salary has been held. I have also brought the matter to the notice of the CDMO and the District Collector.”

Similarly, Siddeshwar Baliram Bondar, Bhadrak, District Collector said, “We have an in-charge here, there is another doctor and a gynaecologist. We will take action against the absentee doctors and try to extend a helping hand to both the medical staff and patients.”

“Effort is on to provide better and proper treatment to the patients ,” he added.

The condition of Covid hospital in Nischintakoili in Cuttack district is no different. This 100-bedded hospital on Cuttack-Chandbali road, originally built for Covid patients is lying vacant with no doctors or patients. 

With all modern equipment, the hospital can be used to provide treatment to other patients, said locals.
“As the Covid cases had deepened. There are a few numbers of Covid patients. So, we demand the hospital to be used for the treatment of other patients. We have also sent a memorandum to the State government and the Health Department in this regard,” a local resident Prashant Jena said.

'As there are no Covid patients now, the hospital is lying vacant. It is equipped with all modern facilities like ICU, beds, oxygen cylinders. So, we have sent a proposal to use it as a general hospital in the future. But, I personally think it should be used as a trauma hospital as it has all the facilities," said Nischintakoili CHC's, chief medical officer.

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