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Budgetary constraints hit hospital projects, health services in Himachal

With budgetary constraints hitting the setting up of new hospitals, health services on the home turf of the state Health and Family Welfare Minister are not in top form.

Besides, there is no let-up in diarrhoea outbreak in Parwanoo with 597 cases detected since April 11. The BJP claimed the number of patients was much higher as a large number of people were visiting private clinics and others taking over the counter drugs.

Dr Amit Ranjan Talwar, Medical Officer Health, Solan, said there was a decline in the number of cases with fewer cases being detected on a daily basis now.

“Those affected comprise migrant labourers and they were taking treatment at ESI Hospital. I had visited the affected areas at Taksal and Sector 1 in Parwanoo recently to take stock of the situation,” added Dr Talwar.

Flaying the indifferent attitude of the Health Minister, BJP spokesman Shailender Gupta said, “Health and Family Welfare Minister DR Shandil has failed to address the situation effectively on his home turf. Even the Governor has expressed concern over the situation and visited the affected areas.”

A new hospital building at Kather in Solan has been hit by budgetary constraints. “A sum of Rs 10 crore was yet to be paid to contractor. After a demand for Rs 5 crore was raised by the hospital administration in November last, Rs 3 crore was received. This amount would be paid to the contractor towards his pending dues,” said Ravi Bhatti, Executive Engineer, Public Works Department, Solan.

“The Health Department was unable to purchase Phaco machine used in cataract surgery, even as Rs 43 lakh was available for the purpose from the District Mineral Foundation Fund about two years ago. A large number of elderly patients turn to private labs for the surgery,” alleged Gupta.

A new hospital building proposed at Dharampur has failed to get any budget. Its Detailed Project Report (DPR) has not been prepared for years even as the existing hospital faces shortage of space given a large number of patients it caters to. The Tribune

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