The Telegraph
Tuesday , July 29 , 2014
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Speciality healthcare on cards

Dr Ranjit Kumar Singh speaks at a news meet organised by Bihar Orthopaedic Association at the IMA Hall in Patna on Monday. The association has decided to conduct a programme from July 29 to August 8 to spread awareness on bone and joint-related ailments among the people. Amulya Kumar Singh, a member of Bihar Orthopaedic Association, said: “Bone and Joint Day is on August 4 and our association has decided to organise activities over several days to generate more awareness among the people.” He added that a proper diet is necessary for protection against orthopaedic ailments. Text by Shuchismita Chakraborty, picture by Ashok Sinha

Specialised and better healthcare at the medical college and hospitals is a dream in sight for people in Bihar.

The health department has decided to start six super-speciality departments each in as many health hubs in the state. Geriatrics, neurosurgery, neurology, nephrology, cardiology and radiotherapy would be the facilities available at Patna Medical College Hospital (PMCH), Nalanda Medical College Hospital, Anugrah Narayan Medical College and Hospital, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital, Shri Krishna Medical College and Hospital and Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital.

In the health hubs where some of the facilities are already under way, work to strengthen the infrastructure and improve manpower would be taken up. For instance, the PMCH has neurosurgery, neurology and radiotherapy departments. Sources said the health department has decided to upgrade the facilities.

Deepak Kumar, principal secretary, health, told The Telegraph: “We have set a time frame to get the various works (at all the six health hubs) done. The outpatient wings of the departments concerned have been set a deadline of September 15. The indoor services would have to be started by December.”

The decision to start the six specialised departments in each of the premier health cradles in the state was taken at a meeting on July 25.

Doctors welcomed the decision and hoped the problems from lack of infrastructure would be resolved.

A senior doctor in PMCH’s neurosurgery department said: “The existing super-speciality departments do need to be upgraded.”

On the problems faced by neurosurgeons at PMCH because of lack of infrastructure, he added: “Critical brain tumour surgeries have been stopped for the past few months because we don’t have an operating microscope in the department. The lack of a proper operating table is also troubling. Patients need to be kept in a fixed position during surgeries.”

Scepticism about the idea was also spotted among some doctors.

“Three government hospitals in Patna which were supposed to provide super-speciality treatments are still battling several issues. It has been more than two years that the government announced it would upgrade the Rajendra Nagar Hospital into a super-speciality eye hospital. New Gardiner Road Hospital and Loknayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital were to be upgraded for haemophilia treatment and orthopaedic disorders, respectively. But nothing concrete has been done on that till now. How could the government then claim to start super-speciality departments in the six government medical college and hospitals when it has not even fulfilled its earlier goal,” asked a doctor at PMCH.