| Rajkanika primary health centre. Picture by Manoj Kar |
Kendrapara, Sept. 26: The government-run health service network in Kendrapara is in serious trouble due to lack of doctors. The near-breakdown of the government service has also given rise to a number of quacks in the area.
About 70 per cent of the posts of doctors are vacant. Of the 122 sanctioned posts, 54 doctors are officiating in government-run hospitals, primary health centres and dispensaries. As many as 77 posts are lying vacant hitting the heath service badly.
“We have been drawing the attention of higher authorities almost every month. But the posts are still vacant. Things are precarious in most of the rural health centres. The officiating doctors are forced to shoulder enormous workload,” said chief district medical officer Bharat Keshari Sahu, adding that quacks were having a field day in the interior areas.
The District Headquarters Hospital has also been hit by the lack of doctors.
“We have 26 sanctioned posts for doctors at the hospital. But just eight doctors are managing both indoor and outdoor treatment. We are unable to treat the patients properly. Things are beyond our control,” said Manoj Kumar Behera, additional district medical officer of the District Headquarters Hospital here.
“It’s the doctors who are under pressure and then they are being unfairly targeted by the public,” said Ananda Gopal Mohanty, secretary of the district wing of Orissa Medical Service Association.
Quacks taking advantage of the situation are virtually running parallel health service network in this coastal district.
“Action can be taken against quacks under the provisions of the Medical Council of India Act 1956 and Sections 420, 338 and 471 of Indian Penal Code,” said Kendrapara superintendent of police, Narasingha Bhol. “The health department should seek police assistance to nab the fake doctors,” Bhol added.