| Himanta Biswa Sarma at the meeting. Picture by UB Photos |
Dhubri, Sept. 4: Citizens here have apprised health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma of the lack of physicians and paramedical staff and the alleged mismanagement at Dhubri civil hospital.
In a public grievance meeting held at the hospital yesterday, the secretary of the CPM’s Dhubri district unit, Tripath Nath Chakraborty, said patients were deprived of basic treatment at the hospital because of shortage of physicians, paramedical staff and medicines.
He said lakhs of people depended on the hospital but even two years after the inauguration of its new building in 2011, the demand for doctors, paramedical staff and sweepers was yet to be fulfilled.
Partha Pratim Ghose, a social worker, alleged that corruption had taken deep roots in the hospital in connivance with a section of doctors and touts and its worst sufferers were pregnant women. “No delivery is possible without greasing the palms of gynaecologists either in Dhubri civil hospital or in the 20-bed maternity hospital in the town. The maternity hospital has turned out to be a private and illegal abortion centre,” he alleged.
Ghose also appealed to Sarma to look into the deteriorating and pathetic condition of Dhubri chest hospital, one of the oldest in Assam, and take steps to resuscitate it.
The chief convener of Dhubri Bikash and Pragati Manch, Shyamal Sanyal, said the Dhubri civil hospital requires 48 doctors but has only 27, including the six from National Rural Health Mission who joined recently.
He said there was no radiologist in the hospital either.
He also alleged that the hospital was not cleaned regularly because of an acute shortage of sweepers. It requires 42 sweepers whereas it has only eight, he added.
The health minister warned doctors of dire consequences if they are caught taking bribes from patients against medical services.
He said all the vacancies could not be filled at one time but he would try to increase the number of doctors. He also said a radiologist would be appointed by December this year and announced a separate 100-bed woman and child ward in the hospital.
He directed the Dhubri district administration to form a 15-member citizens’ body, which would listen to public grievances and bring the problems to his notice.