Devbrat Patnaik

Cuttack: Frequent cases of medical negligence coupled with crippled healthcare system in Odisha have made a mockery of the much-touted ‘Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana’, the government has been boasting about. That too at the cost of refusing to implement Centre’s flagship healthcare scheme ‘Ayushman Bharat’.

Apart from the numerous cases of unavailability of ambulance service, hearse and huge number of vacancies for the position of doctors, the premier healthcare institutions are not even equipped or staffed to deal with day-to-day pathology and radiology tests. Corroborating this, was a video posted by a tweep that showed how the patients at SCB Medical College & hospital, considered as the State's premier hospital, were made to wait and suffer for days just to get an ultrasound done.

Thousands of patients a day are being rushed to SCB from across Odisha and outside as well. However, even the critical patients allegedly made to wait for 3-4 days for radiology tests including X-Ray, ultrasound and CT scans reveals the sorry state at the SCB.

Moreover, the SCB authorities have come up with a new system where patients and their attendants were seen placing stones on the doctor prescriptions in a queue outside the Radio Diagnosis department, though they have resorted to such a practice. Even the local Nidan centre has one CT scan machine which is defunct.

Mangabat Bag, a tumor patient from Titlagarh, has been reportedly waiting since last 25 days to undergo CT scan because the machine is defunct. The doctors have also refused to conduct his surgery until the tests are done.

When the medical authorities were contacted, SCB Emergency officer Bhubanananda Maharana informed that they will introduce token system within two weeks. This apart, he stated that the ultrasound tests and CT scan machines would be made functional as soon as possible. “We were not aware of this thing. We will try to eradicate the system. We are having a discussion with hospital administration and very soon token system will be introduced,” he said.

Here’s the video:

Meanwhile, responding to the video, former MP Jay Panda tweeted, “At the Odisha govt's premier state hospital, even critical patients must queue for 2+ days (see video) for X-Rays etc! Isn't it unconscionable to REFUSE to implement govt of India's #AyushmanBharat & launch yet another state scheme in Biju Babu's name (but with no funding) ???”