Sidharth Tanmoy Dash

Malkangiri: Patients are grappling with lack of healthcare facilities at the newly-inaugurated Malkangiri district headquarter hospital. The new hospital which was inaugurated by CM Naveen Patnaik a couple of months back is yet to be functional beyond its OPD (outpatient department) and the pathology lab.

"Even after two hours of my arrival, the doctor was nowhere to be seen. After repeated enquiries, I was informed that the doctor will not arrive today. I don't know what to do now," said Kamala Madhi, a local.

CM Naveen Patnaik had inaugurated the 300-bed hospital on July 26, 2018 during his visit to the district. Since then the hospital has been operating sans fire safety and oxygen supply systems. Even the water tanks required for fire safety have not been constructed so far, informed sources.

"Even after months of its inauguration, the hospital doesn't even have a stretcher. We come from such long distances to this hospital and they ask us to go to the old hospital citing unavailability of doctors and lack of facilities here," said SM Ali, an ailing patient.

"The hospital lacks fire safety and oxygen facilities. It was inaugurated hastily with only two doctors keeping the CM's visit in mind. If the hospital lacked all such facilities then why was it inaugurated?" questioned Ram Pattnaik, a local resident.

While the district healthcare officials refused to comment on the matter, Health minister Pratap Jena assured of correctives measures soon.

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