DEHRADUN: Agitated by poor condition of the district hospital in PauriGarhwal, locals on Monday afternoon protested outside the office of chief medical officer and locked his room in order to prevent him from working. Later, members of Jan ChetnaManch also joined the protesters and gheraoed the CMO room.
While speaking to TOI, CMO Dr A K Singh said this was not the first time when agitators turned up at his office and demanded that the services in the district hospitals must be upgraded. “I can understand the anger of people, but they need to understand that this is the work of the health department and I can’t do anything about it. Even I am dealing with the problem of staff crunch here,” he said.
Pauri Garhwal has one district hospital which lacks staff along with other facilities. Out of 17 sanctioned posts, only six doctors are currently working here. Specialists doctors like cardiologists, physicians, pathologists and radiologists have not yet been deputed. “A surgeon is present at the hospital but the anesthetist has been missing for the past three months. Hence, surgeries are not being performed,” said Dr. Singh.
Even the eye surgeon has been unavailable since last two months. Conditions are similar in the district women hospital. “Two to three doctors were posted in the women hospital too but none of them ever joined,” he said.
On being asked whether the health department is aware of the conditions here, the CMO said every month a detailed report is being sent to the department. In the general OPD, there is reportedly just one doctor who has been working for nearly 20 years and as per the health department data, over 1.2 lakh patients visited the OPD in 2013. The hospital has 301 beds but there is no ICU.
As per the health department officials, senior doctors were posted here under the transfer policy in August and they will be joining duty within two weeks. The district doesn’t have qualified private practitioners and for every health related issue, residents have to travel to far-off places.