Cuttack, July 24: Lack of infrastructure and manpower has left the paediatrics department of SCB Medical College and Hospital crippled.
While it does not have any ventilator and oxygen supply line in its ICU, eight out of 13 sanctioned posts of doctors have also been lying vacant in the ward, throwing a spanner on children’s healthcare services in the state’s premier hospital, where many patients come for treatment from various parts of the state and even neighbouring states.
Sources said that the ventilators stopped working soon after installation in the eight-bed paediatrics ICU in 2007.
As the SCB paediatrics ICU has been running without ventilators, children who come here in a critical condition are left with no option but to be referred to the nearby Sishu Bhavan.
“I am thinking of shifting my six-month-old son to Sishu Bhavan as there are no ventilators here,” said Bikash Patnaik, 42, whose son, Sambit, is suffering from brain infection.
Sambit was admitted in SCB’s paediatrics ward on July 15, where doctors have put him on bag valve mask support in the absence of ventilators. “We had come to SCB in the hope of getting proper treatment. But, it is not even equipped adequately to deal with critical illnesses,” Patnaik said.
At present, there is one professor, two associate professors and two senior resident doctors in the paediatrics department against the sanctioned strength of one professor, three associate professors, six assistant professors and three senior resident doctors.
Recently, the state government had come up with a plan for the merger of the SCB paediatrics department with the Sishu Bhavan to create a larger ICU facility for children.
The high court, however, issued a stay order on the plan acting on a petition opposing the merger initiative.
SCB authorities, however, said that they would take steps to resolve the problems of its paediatrics department. “Since the defunct ventilators cannot be repaired, we have a proposal to install two new machines,” said hospital superintendent D.N. Moharana.