No quick cure for healthcare system: Surjya

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  • Published 13.02.07

Balurghat, Feb. 13: Bengal health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra needs two more years to overhaul the government healthcare system that is plagued by lack of doctors and para-medical staff, shortage of medicines and poor infrastructure.

“There is no denying the fact that almost 50 per cent of government hospitals do not have proper infrastructure or specialised doctors. We are trying to address these problems for which I need at least two more years,” the minister said here today after handing over the keys of eight ambulances to NGOs in eight blocks of the South Dinajpur district.

Mishra announced that all the 350 block primary health centres of the state would be elevated to rural hospitals in these two years. Already, 95 of them have gone through the upgrade, at the cost of Rs 2 crore each.

There would be six to seven specialised doctors, adequate number of nursing staff and 30 beds in each rural hospital, said the minister. The doctors and other staff will be provided quarters on the hospital campus.

The health department is also keen to improve the block sub-health centres. “Once we improve the rural health centres and district hospitals, people will automatically depend less on the hospitals in Calcutta,” the minister said.

About the recent incident in Malda district hospital where a newborn was wrongly declared dead and dumped in the labour room where it lay unattended for more than 12 hours (the baby died the next day), the minister said: “You cannot expect all healthcare problems to be solved overnight. We are working on it.”