Healthcare services in a shambles

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  • Published 18.07.07

July 18: Tall claims rarely materialise, least of all those made by the government.

The Congress-led regime’s promise to improve healthcare services and fill vacant posts of doctors in all public health centres in the Bodoland region has remained unfulfilled.

Residents of the four districts under the jurisdiction of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) are deprived of medical treatment simply because there are no doctors to treat them.

“Where are the doctors? There are not enough doctors in the Bodoland region,” a health department official said.

According to official records, 70 sanctioned posts of doctors are vacant in Kokrajhar district alone.

The other districts of Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri are no better. Sources in the health department said an acute shortage of staff was making it difficult for public health centres to function normally.

Of the 51 sanctioned posts of medical health officers, only 26 have been filled. As against 37 posts of subdivisional medical and health officers, there are only 21. As many as 24 of the 36 posts of senior medical officers are vacant.

The largest hospital in the BTC region, the 200-bedded Kokrajhar Rupnath Brahma Civil Hospital, is adequately equipped but lacks doctors.

The Ranandra Narayan Basumatary Civil Hospital in Gossaigaon has not a single full-time doctor. Medical practioners from nearby health centres and state dispensaries run the hospital. All 15 sanctioned posts of doctors are vacant.