Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Patients with burn injuries are facing severe problems in treatment at the MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur as the healthcare facility lacks a separate burn care unit.

Critical patients are either referred to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack or Visakhapatnam for treatment.

Following the bus tragedy case at Mendarajpur under Rangeilunda block two years back, the then Health Minister and Secretary had assured to set up a dedicated burn care unit at the hospital. However, nothing has materialized yet.

Take the case of Mamata Sahu who along with her daughter suffered severe burn injuries due to gas leakage at her home. Both of them were admitted to MKCG in critical condition. However, they were referred to SCB due to the absence of a burn care unit at MKCG.

“I went through an ordeal due to the absence of a burn care unit at MKCG. I am a poor woman. We had no option but to go a long way to Cuttack to get treatment at SCB. The expenditure was huge to stay at Cuttack along with my family for a long period of time for our treatment. I didn’t get any kind of help from the government towards our treatment cost. It took a huge toll on our economic condition and we have to go through severe mental turmoil during that period,” said Mamata.

“We request the government to set up a burn care facility at MKCG at the earliest so that many people like us will be benefitted and they don’t have to go through ordeals anymore,” said Mamata’s son Raja Kumar Sahu.

Purna Chandra Moharana has a similar kind of incident to narrate. Purna’s son suffered severe burn injuries in an accident. However, he could not be treated at MKCG. He had to visit SCB for treatment and in the process, they lost precious time, energy and money. The pain and mental turmoil faced during the travel to Cuttack were in expressible.

“A burn care unit is an urgent requirement at MKCG. The government should take this demand seriously and set up a burn care unit at the hospital soon. Sans any facilities here, people of South Odisha have to suffer a lot,” said Purna Chandra.

Patients with burn injuries from more than 10 districts of South Odisha are getting deprived of treatment at MKCG due to the absence of proper facilities. Local residents have been staging regular protests demanding a separate burn unit at MKCG. However, their plea has so far fallen on deaf ears.

Meanwhile, MKCG Superintendent Dr Santosh Mishra said that a proposal in this regard has been sent to the government.

“A proposal to set up a burn care unit at MKCG has been sent to the government. We are hopeful that, it will be considered and necessary steps in this regard will be taken soon,” said Mishra.

Earlier on March 13, responding to a question by Berhampur MLA Bikram Panda in the Assembly, Health Minister Niranjan Pujari had said that the proposal on setting up a burn care unit at MKCG is being considered.

“The then Health Minister Naba Das had also assured to set up a burn unit at MKCG. However, it is a matter of regret that the government has completely forgotten about its promise,” said Subash Chandra Sahu, BJP Ganjam district Vice-President.

(Reported by Jagannath Sahu)