Mrunal Manmay Dash

At a time when the Odisha government is boasting of its initiatives to boost healthcare, pictures from the government-run hospitals in the undivided Koraput district including Koraput and Malkangiri tell a very different story.

The largest healthcare facility in the region, Saheed Laxman Nayak Medical College & Hospital (SLN) in Koraput is allegedly struggling to provide bed sheets on the beds meant for indoor patients.

clean bed sheets, the patients are reportedly forced to bring their own sheets and blankets to keep infections at bay.

“There are no bed sheets for patients to lay on the beds. Our patients are sleeping on the bare beds. Patients are arranging their own bed sheets to sleep on the bed,” said an attendant of a patient at SLN Hospital.

Krushna, a sanitation worker employed at the hospital said, “The washing machines have broken down for ten days. We have written to the authorities but no action has been taken yet.”

Asked about the allegations, Hospital Manager, Suvendu Das said, “Some parts of the washing machines were damaged. We have sent them for repairs. The machines will run by the end of the day.”

A different picture emerged from Kumbhaguda village under Malkangiri’s Padia block. Sans doctors in hospitals, the villagers are dependent on a quack for treatment.

Similarly, the Public Health Centre at Dharampalli in the district, on which more than 10,000 people of the locality are dependent, does not have a doctor. A pharmacist, Ujjwala Chandra Nayak is taking care of the patients at the hospital.

Speaking to OTV, Nayak said, “Almost 30-40 patients come to the hospital daily. Anganwadi, ASHA workers are creating awareness among the villagers to come to the hospital for treatment and not to take help of quacks.”

Similarly, the District Headquarters Hospital in Malkangiri, which has a sanctioned doctor strength of 109, currently has 33 doctors posted. If we take the whole Malkangiri district into account, only 109 doctors are there as against 277 sanctioned doctor posts.

Moreover, the district which recently witnessed the death of hundreds of children due to Japanese Encephalitis has only one paediatrician.

Malkangiri CDMO, Prafulla Kumar Nanda said, “Patients from Chhattisgarh’s Sukma too depend on the DHH. Despite less than one-third of doctor strength, we are still able to provide seamless healthcare to the people."

  • Reported by:
  • JITENDRA BEURA , Surya Narayan Panda