| A primary health centre in Motihari block. Picture by Ajit Kumar Verma |
Motihari, Jan. 11: A number of health schemes in East Champaran have failed to materialise owing to unavailability of land.
Nearly 82 additional primary health centres (APHC), proposed to be set up in the region, have not materialised because the district administration failed to provide land for them.
According to a report from the health department, the patients in the area are left at the mercy of the local quacks. Out of 82 APHCs that were proposed to be set up in the district, the amount for the construction of 35 has been received.
The report stated that because of the unavailability of lands neither the buildings for the APHCs could be constructed nor the doctors or other health employees could be deputed there.
A health department personnel told The Telegraph that on several occasions, the circle office and the district administration were requested in writing for land but land only for the construction of two APHCs have been provided so far.
Kameshwar Mandal, a civil surgeon based in East Champaran, accepted that APHCs could not come up for want of land, regarding which the district administration has been informed time to time.
The health department report added that most of the vacancies for doctors in the already existing 46 APHCs in this district have been filled up by the physicians coming from Ayurveda, homoeopathy and Unani disciplines of therapy, instead of an MBBS doctor.
“The normal and routine medicines mostly remain in short supply. Even the required equipment are not available in the 17 PHCs, where technicians have been recently appointed,” said a health department source.
More than 50 per cent sanctioned posts of the doctors are vacant in the district and because of shortage of medicos, a sizeable population is dependent on the practising quacks in their areas.
Out of the sanctioned posts of 188 regular doctors, only 70 are working, while the remaining 118 posts are lying vacant. Similarly, only 101 contractual doctors are posted at Sadar hospital and different PHCs and APHCs against their sanctioned strength of 128 in East Champaran.
Though doctors are posted at several old APHCs, because of non-supply of medicines there, the patients are bound to purchase medicines from outside.