Locals lock up Machkund Power Project health centre over staff shortage

Koraput: Locals living in the vicinity of Machkund Power Project today locked up the health centre. The pre-Independence era health care facility was built with the joint efforts of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh government.

However, there have been problems in the regular functioning of the health centre after Andhra Pradesh government announced for its privatisation.

While four employees working at the health centre have been relieved from duty, only a sole contractual doctor is engaged for treatment of the patients at the centre.

As the doctor is now on leave, the centre remains closed for most of the time, local residents alleged.

“Earlier, we were getting everything free of cost. The pharmacist has been removed while there are no doctors to attend the patients. A lot of poor patients depend on the health centre. But once privatised, they will not be able to afford the services,” said Damu Khilo, a local resident.

Khilo further demanded that the hospital should start providing services to the people and staff should be reinstated.

“It was an arbitrary decision of the Andhra government to privatise the health centre. Despite having a permanent job with Odisha government, they (Andhra Pradesh) have dismissed us, “said Pharmacist, Sanjay Kumar Sahu who was relieved from his services at the centre.

On the other hand, the officials of Andhra Pradesh administration were not available for comments on the controversy.