SSLNT Hospital in Dhanbad will boast an OPD from Monday. Picture by Gautam Dey
Healthcare in Dhanbad is going from pale to pink.
After the launch of Red Cross Society’s outdoor service on Independence Day, two new outpatient departments (OPDs) are all set to open doors under sadar hospital albeit on PMCH’s old campus in Hirapur and at SSLNT Hospital in Purana Bazaar from Monday.
The facilities — that aim to offer prompt medical aid to 1.5 lakh people in Hirapur, Rangatand, Chiragora, Vinod Nagar, Jayprakash Nagar, Purana Bazaar, Joraphatak, Nayabazar, Matkuria and other areas — have been prodded by the new health and family welfare minister. Rajendra Prasad Singh, during his two-day visit to the coal town from August 22, had directed civil surgeon Arun Kumar Sinha to start the twin OPDs within 72 hours to streamline healthcare services.
Speaking on the project, Sinha on Sunday said that deputation of doctors at both hospitals and other necessary formalities to run the OPDs had been finalised.
“Altogether, nine government doctors have been shunted from different blocks to man the Dhanbad Sadar Hospital OPD in Hirapur six days a week (barring Sunday) from 9am to 3pm. Similarly, three doctors have been deputed at SSLNT Hospital, which is under the jurisdiction of PMCH,” Sinha said.
He added that a general physician and a gynaecologist would be available on all six days, while other specialists will work on rotation at the single-story emergency building of the erstwhile Hirapur campus of PMCH.
The emergency ward and double-storey OPD of PMCH was vacated recently after its orthopaedics and surgery wards were shifted to the main building in Saraidhela. “Since the vacated OPD building in Hirapur has not yet been handed over to us by the PMCH authorities, we will run the sadar hospital OPD from the emergency building,” Sinha explained.
The civil surgeon conceded that the SSLNT Hospital had been lying closed for a decade owing to a litany of reasons, starting from doctor crunch to remote location.
Sources said that the PMCH administration had deputed two specialists — a gynaecologist and an anaesthetist — at SSLNT to run the OPD following orders from Jharkhand High Court two years ago, but things did not materialise.
PMCH superintendent Arun Kumar cited manpower crunch. “There were only two doctors available against the sanctioned strength of five. Now, three more doctors who have been recruited will help us run the OPD at SSLNT Hospital on a regular basis,” he said.
The new building of Dhanbad Sadar Hospital will have 80 beds and 12 operating theatres in Hirapur at a cost of Rs 5.5 crore. The project is slated for completion within 10 months.
Notably, the sadar hospital existed in Hirapur in the early Seventies, but was later converted into PMCH or Patliputra Medical College and Hospital in 1977. From Monday, it will once again be an independent entity.