Rashmi Rekha Das

In a bid to boost medical services in the state, the Odisha government set up the Saheed Laxman Nayak Medical College and Hospital in Koraput and Pandit Raghunath Murmu Medical College and Hospital in Baripada. However, these two medical colleges and hospitals have failed to serve their purpose due to acute staff crunch and lack of infrastructure.

These medical colleges were inaugurated five years back. However, lack of doctors and dearth of infrastructure have hit these hospitals hard.  

As a result, resentment is brewing among the patients coming for treatment to both these hospitals.

Persistent vacancies of doctors and employees also impair delivery of quality healthcare at these hospitals, alleged patients. 

Take the case of Koraput's Saheed Laxman Nayak Medical College and Hospital. Patients are seen being treated at verandah of the hospital due to lack of beds.

According to data available from Right to Information Act, there are 524 approved posts of doctors, superintendents, technicians and nurses in the hospital. However, as many as 284 posts are lying vacant. Most importantly, out of the 240 approved posts, only, the posts of superintendent and four employees have been regularised.

Besides, radiologists are not available to run eco machine here. Also, the medical college does not have laboratory. Forget about angiogram, which is a diagnostic procedure that uses X-ray images to look for blockages in blood vessels, catheterization laboratory is not available in the hospital.

The hospital is also running short of doctors to treat patients and teach students at the 125-seated medical college.

There are 16 professors against the strength of 22. The medical college and hospital has 17 associate professors against the requirement of 28. Similarly, there are only 13 senior resident doctors available in the hospital against the requirement of 39. As many as 37 important posts are also lying vacant much to the inconvenience of patients.

Arun Kumar Behera, a patient’s attendant said, “We had brought a patient for his dressing. Though he was admitted to the hospital, none did his dressing till morning.”

Professor KC Biswal, Dean of the Saheed Laxman Nayak Medical College and Hospital said, “As many as 50 per cent employees are there. Besides, recruitment process is underway to hire new employees for the smooth conduct of the hospital.”

Baripada-based Pandit Raghunath Murmu Medical College and Hospital also faces same situation in the absence of required manpower and equipment.

It has 15 professors against the strength of 21; 23 associate professors against the strength of 29 and 12 senior residents against the strength of 37.

Moreover, crunch of doctors and other staff has hit hard the hospital.

Tapaswini Samantaray, relative of a patient, said, “The hospital does not have adequate beds for patients. That’s why patients are suffering. Besides, toilets of the hospital are in bad shape. They are not being cleaned regularly.”

Tapaswini Rana, another patient’s relative said, “Doctors are not always present at the hospital. When we brought patient to this hospital, we were told to wait. No matter how much serious the patient is, he/she has to wait for hours.”  

The hospital authorities were not available to make any comment in this regard.