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Healthcare Takes a Hit at Tribal Dominated Areas, Lack of Doctors

Healthcare services at Government hospitals in the tribal-dominated district has taken a backseat due to acute shortage of doctors and para-medical staff with no immediate respite in sight. Rourkela BJP MLA and former Union Minister Dilip Ray termed the scenario as unfortunate and reiterated his demand for immediate filling up of vacant posts of doctors. Ray has been consistently raising the issue within and outside the Odisha Legislative Assembly (OLA). The legislator quoting the recent Assembly reply of the Health Minister to his question said around 300 posts of doctors are vacant across the district. Both the Central and State governments are getting huge revenue from the district even as its residents are left to fend for themselves.

Ray said against the revised sanctioned posts of 75 doctors at Rourkela Government Hospital (RGH), there are only 30 regular doctors while 45 posts are vacant. Similarly, in the rest of the district against 298 sanctioned posts of doctors only 107 are posted. He added that 17 and 12 posts of Ayurvedic and Homeopathy doctors respectively are also vacant, while 22 health institutions, 15 ayurvedic dispensaries and 12 homeopathy dispensaries have no doctors at all. The former Union Minister claimed that Utkalmani Homeopathy Medical College and Hospital at Rourkela has 36 sanctioned posts of doctors, but 29 posts are lying vacant. Ray said there are also whopping vacancies of pharmacists, staff nurses and other support staff in the district and the Government despite being aware of the situation is doing nothing to address the crisis.

Ray said Hi-Tech Medical College and Hospital for which the State Government had sanctioned `10 crore along with 25 acres of land lies in tatters. He insisted on converting the Rourkela General Hospital into a Government Medical College and Hospital, while reiterating demand to expedite work for upgradation of RSP-run IGH into a super-specialty hospital and medical college as announced by the Prime Minister in 2015. Incidentally, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) has issued a circular paving way for appointment of contractual doctors including retried doctors of SAIL the number of doctors at the 685-bed IGH has dropped to about 75. Similarly, the 50-bed ESIC Model Hospital at Rourkela too faces above 50 percent shortage of doctors. – New Indian Express