Survey Paints Grim Picture Of Health Service In Rural Punjab

CHANDIGARH: From non-compliance of rules to shortage of medicines, the survey for implementation of programmes of National Rural Health Mission 2019-20 has painted a grim picture of district hospitals in Punjab.

To ensure timely execution of key components of National Health Mission by the state, Union health ministry got a survey conducted in four districts — Sangrur, Mohali, Moga and Patiala —through population research centres of Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (Crrid) and Panjab University, for which field survey was carried out in November last year.

In Sangrur district, monitoring was done in district hospital, community health centre, Bhawanigarh; primary health centre, Chajjli; and sub-centre in Bhattiwal Kalan. The report pointed out that against norms of NHM, a number of women were discharged early in cases of both normal or C-section deliveries due to shortage of beds in the district hospital. Also, women were made to share beds in the gynaecological ward.

Part of the building of district hospital was found to be dilapidated. Shortage of essential drugs was found in all health facilities in Sangrur where sampling was done. Vitamin-A, antibiotics, painkillers and antacid injections were found to be in short supply in the district hospital. The CHC lacked Vitamin-A, Amoxyclav, Ranitidine injection and Ondansetron injection.

The PHC did not have antibiotics. Highlighting poor quality, the report pointed out that the gynaecologist, orthopedician, eye surgeon and surgeon were utilising the same operation theatre for different operations, compromising norms of quality. The sub-centre was found lagging in segregation of bio-medical waste at source.

Due to absence of security guard, the fear of being threatened by the patients and their kin, especially at night time, was affecting the smooth functioning of health facilities. Non-availability of guard at night led to chaos on many occasions, forcing the health authorities to call police for help.

The public health centre in Landran, Mohali, was found to be operating from a shared building with veterinary hospital. With no partition, entry was common for patients and animals, thus exposing patients to infection. The community health centre in Mohali lacked proper cleanliness. The condition of the public health centre’s building was not good.

A number of posts of medical specialists, like paediatrician, surgeon, gynaecologist, ophthalmologist, radiologist and physician, were lying vacant in all sampled districts.

In the district hospital of Sangrur, only 3 paediatricians against 16 sanctioned posts were worker. While 13 posts of surgeon had been sanctioned, only 7 were filled. Dr Pyara Lal Garg, health expert and former registrar of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, demanded an audit of National Health Mission programme in Punjab. He said the government should fix accountability for irregularities.-Times Of India

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