Puri: Even though the State government spent Rs 10.63 crore to build hospitals in Puri and Konark three years back, healthcare services still remain a distant dream at these hospitals.

Fate of these hospitals is hanging in balance due to an internal conflict between the Health department and authorities of the Ayush training.

As per a decision by the Health department, the three-storey hospital building should have a 200-bed hospital in the ground floor while Ayurvedic medical college's library, reading room and lecturer theatre should be in the other floors. But the hospital has allegedly become a rest room for staff of the Ayurvedic College.

The hospital was inaugurated on July 4, 2015 by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik just before the Nabakalebara festival.
Speaking on the issue, CDMO in-charge of Puri, Bhaskar Samantray said,"The 200-bed medical ward cannot function properly at the building as there are some issues. Earlier, we had plans to run a hospital there."

On the other hand, Puri Ayurvedic College principal, Sudarshan Behera, said, "Though the hospital was planned to be set up at the ground floor, it has been locked since its inauguration. Had it been handed over to us, we would have set up the OPD there."

Similarly, the Konark hospital which was planned to be upgraded from the Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) to Community Healthcare Centre (CHC) has not started functioning yet. Though Rs 5.21 crore was spent to set up a 30-bed hospital and trauma care centre, the hospital is being run by an Ayush doctor and a pharmacist.

"After setting up the medical building, people of the area were expecting that they would get better medical facilities. However, because of absence of doctors at the hospital no facility could be provided to them," a social activist Raj Kishore Mohapatra stated.

Meanwhile, the Health department said that steps are being taken to begin health services very soon at the hospital.
"We have sought a report from the CDMO. The PHC will be converted to the CHC and the same will be discussed at the sub-committee meeting," stated Braja Kishore Brahma, Health department director.

Amidst the controversy, the Comptroller an Auditor General (CAG) has asked for a report from the State government in connection with the current situation of the hospital buildings.