The health facilities in Haridwar city are not coming on track despite several efforts by the state government. All the three government hospitals are reeling under the scarcity of doctors and the ultrasound machine being shifted to ICU, there is no facility for the common patients. Confronting these hassles, most of the patients have to take the option of approaching the private hospitals. In the year 2004, Mela hospital was started to provide better facilities for the pilgrims and the patients. But 15 years on, the situation remains the same. The ultrasound testing machine and digital X ray machine are out of order for the past many months. The machine requires Rs 23 lakh for repair on account of which it is lying defunct. The lift in the hospital is also not functional posing inconvenience and worse to the aged patients climbing stairs up and down. The paucity of doctors is taxing heavy on the patients. In the Mela hospital there were two doctors deputed in December last year but with the starting of the new year, senior pathologist Dr S N Khan of Uttar Pradesh cadre was transferred to Uttar Pradesh. The positions of superintendent, senior pathologist, anesthetist, pediatrician, skin specialist, physician, cardiologist and surgeon are vacant.
Speaking to The Pioneer, superintendent of the Mela hospital Dr Rajesh Gupta said, “Many times we have sent the report to the state government and health directorate regarding the defunct machinery and equipment. It is very difficult to manage the hospital operations without manpower and machines. The demand to repair the defunct machines and recruitment on vacant posts of doctors have been sent through higher officials.” Some doctors are on leave for higher studies while many posts are vacant for years in the women hospital, mela hospital and Har Milap district hospital. When the condition of the hospitals in the city parts is deplorable one can well imagine the condition of the rural parts of the district. The patients in these hospitals have to travel long distances in want of treatment. Almost everyday, one or the other department in district hospital is closed on account of non-availability of the doctor and brunt is borne by the patient and his attendants. On Sunday the condition in the district hospital was deplorable with orthopedic surgeon non-available. The lock hanging outside the rooms of the doctors brought frowns on the patients’ brows who were turned back. On account of non-replacement of the other surgeon who retired in the month of February, this situation has arisen. The posts of many accountants are also vacant for long with the result people who come for getting medical certificates have to return empty handed.
Ram Sharma from Jagjeetpur village who had come to take medical certificate for his ward who was admitted few days ago shared his woes with this correspondent. “I lose my wages for the day and come for getting certificate but it takes so long, rather days to get one certificate made,” he said. Last week, pathologist in the testing laboratory in Mela hospital was on leave which led to hundreds of blood samples kept pending and patients running to private labs for getting test reports. The residents of the biggest block of Haridwar, Bahadrabad are living sans proper medical facilities. The scarcity of doctors and condition of the community health center has added to the woes of the people living there who wish to avail the medical facilities from the government set up. Civil hospital of Roorkee is also reeling under the scarcity of doctors with four of them on leave till next year. The condition of rural health centers and hospitals is worst where the entire center is being run by ANMs and nurses. With no gynecologists, it cannot be ensured that the women who come for deliveries would get safe treatment. The expecting women who reach the primary health centers are referred to the district hospital which are overloaded with a single doctor attending to hundreds of patients. – Daily Pioneer