The Jugsalai community health centre. (Bhola Prasad)
Residents of East Singhbhum have a long wait ahead before they can reap benefits of a well-equipped public healthcare system.
A glaring example of the dismal condition of state-run heal hubs is the 30-bed Jugsalai community health centre that began functioning in April this year.
The centre, which promises medical attention round the clock, does not have a single doctor on duty at night. Its OPD too remains without a doctor for most part of the day. Worse, it has no dresser to treat wounds.
Himanshu Majhi, a resident of Matladih in Bagbera, had come to the Jugsalai centre last month to admit his pregnant wife. However, after seeing the state of affairs, Majhi decided to take her to MGM hospital in Sakchi.
“Yahan par raat ko toh doctor nahin rehta. Kuch ho jayega to kaun dekhega. Isiliye hum MGM mein admission karane le jaa rahe hai. (There is no doctor at night. What if there is an emergency? So, I am taking my wife to MGM hospital,” Majhi, a contract worker, said.
According to rules, OPDs at community health centres are supposed to remain open from 9am to 3pm. When The Telegraph visited the health centre around 2pm one day last month, the doctors’ chamber was empty though the duty roster at the main gate put one Dr H. Hembram in charge. Junior medical staff said doctors usually came around 10.30am and left by 1.30pm.
Jugsalai resident Nagendra Pandey narrated his experience when he visited the centre with an injured neighbour in mid-July.
“Hum kareeban ek baje wahan pahuche. Na doctor tha aur na dresser. Hamko bleeding rukwane ke liye bahar ka ek private medicine hall mein jane pada. (We reached the health centre around 1pm. There was neither a doctor nor a dresser. I had to take my neighbour to a private medicine centre),” Pandey said.
Bharati Minz, the in-charge of the health centre, could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
Civil surgeon Jagat Bhusan Prasad admitted problems, but said the situation had arisen with most doctors being on duty for Shravani Mela, which ended last week.
“Around 12 doctors were posted in Deoghar. This led to a shortage at community health centres. However, I will look into the matter and arrange to depute a dresser at the earliest,” he said.
BJP youth leader Amar Kumar, along with former BJP state president Dineshanand Goswami, has submitted a memorandum to deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal, seeking his intervention. “Poor people from nearby slums flock the hub for free treatment. The government has spent a fortune on the centre, but does not ensure its proper functioning,” Kumar said.
The double-storey health centre was built at a cost of Rs 4.65 crore. It sees a daily patient footfall of 100.