Fazilka, October 2
Medical services at the 103-year-old Civil Hospital, formerly known as Dane Hospital, Fazilka, which was established by the British, has been crippled following an acute shortage of specialised doctors and the paramedical staff.
Following the promotion and transfer of specialist doctors two years back, the office of the Civil Surgeon here fell vacant and has not been filled up yet despite Fazilka being a district headquarters.
As per the Senior Medical Officer (SMO), Civil Hospital, Fazilka, Dr SP Garg, out of the total 13 sanctioned posts, eight have been lying vacant for long and a pathologist, Dr Renu Dhuria, has proceeded on long leave.
The sanctioned posts of surgeon, gynaecologist, paediatrician, medical specialist, dermatologist and MBBS doctors are also vacant.
For the last few months, the doctors have been braving all odds to run the emergency services and OPD besides attending to duties like conducting the postmortem, attending the courts and sending the reports on a regular basis to the higher authorities.
The schemes run by the Centre and the state government for the poor sections of society have also been hit adversely due to the shortage of doctors. The aim of the state government-- to perform maximum deliveries at the Civil Hospital-- has also been affected in the absence of a gynaecologist.
It has become difficult for the staff to run the blood bank for want of a Blood Transfusion Officer (BTO).
The operation theatre and the ultrasound machine are virtually lying defunct. The ambitious DOTS project, for treating the tuberculosis patients, has been hit due to the non-availability of a physician. The hospital staff has to refer the seriously ill patients to the medical college at Faridkot for specialised treatment.
As per official sources, the number of patients at the OPD has declined to 200-250 on a working day. Earlier, the figure used to be around 400.
The number of indoor patients has also come down as the physicians, surgeons, heart specialists and the gynaecologists, who used to admit the patients, are presently not serving the hospital, thanks to the indifferent attitude of the state health department.
The patients hover around the OPD which often wears a deserted look even during the working hours. The posts of paramedical staff have also been lying vacant. Out of the total 24 sanctioned posts of nurses, 15 are lying vacant, which in turn, has affected the indoor services also.
"We have sent the report to the higher authorities but the vacant posts are yet to be filled up," said the SMO Dr Garg.