Jajpur/Gajapati: Odisha government has set up healthcare centres at different places to provide better healthcare to people, however, most of them lie in neglect. While at some health centres doctors remain absent, in others patients are left at the mercy of pharmacists.

Patients at the Shikulipadar Primary Health Centre under Mohana block of Gajapati district depend on pharmacist for treatment as doctors have not turned up for many days.

"We visited the hospital for treatment, but after reaching there, we came to know that doctors are absent and a pharmacist is prescribing medicine. We had to meet the pharmacist as there was no other option left for us," said Namita Dalai, a patient from Khapuripada.

After an official of Community Health Centre, Mohana, Namita Panda was informed about the matter, she said she will conduct surprise visits and take steps to ensure that doctors remain present at the PHCs.

"I will look into the matter and undertake surprise visits. Definitely doctors should be present at the PHC to provide treatment," said Panda.

Similar situation can be seen at the Jajpur Road Community Health Centre. Doctors' shortage at the hospital has affected the patients from faraway places.

Though Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had declared the CHC as a regional hospital, absence of doctors has raised many eyebrows. "The hospital lacks basic facilities. Only one doctor is present at the hospital to look after hundreds of patients," said Maheswara Nayak, a local.

Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the CHC said the higher-ups have been informed about the issue and necessary steps will be taken at the earliest.

"We are facing a lot of difficulties in providing treatment to patients. Though the hospital has a sanctioned post for seven doctors, only three doctors are available at present. On an average, 400-500 patients are visiting the hospital daily, so one doctor has to be present here round the clock," said Santosh Kumar Prusty, CMO of the Jajpur Road CHC.

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