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Posted at: Jun 11, 2018, 12:53 AM; last updated: Jun 11, 2018, 12:53 AM (IST)

Health services through vans fall short of expectations

Health services through vans fall short of expectations
A Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) van parked at the Civil Hospital in Bathinda. Tribune photo

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 10

The Mobile Medical Unit (MMUs) vans at the Civil Hospital have not been utilised to their full capacity for over a year now. 

Citing one reason or the other, the District Health Department kept stalling the MMU service in rural areas.

Aimed at providing outpatient department (OPD) services in rural areas of the district, two Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) vans were introduced in the city in 2009 under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). 

However, owing to shortage of staff and high maintenance cost, the MMU service is being provided sporadically.

Sources said only one van has been utilised to provide OPD service and that also functions occasionally while the other MMU van remains stationed at the Civil Hospital.

However, the officials of Health Department claimed that one MMU van was operating in the district quite frequently and covering almost all remote areas.

Civil Surgeon Hari Narain Singh said, “We ensure maintenance work of MMUs is done on regular basis. As per the availability of staff, we provide the service in rural areas. There was absence of a driver for sometime but now the service is operating properly.”

According to sources, due to shortage of staff, including radiologist, medical officers, staff nurse and lab technician, the MMU service has remained erratic. 

MMU vans are required to have state-of-the-art facilities, including X-ray, lab, ECG, two doctors, radiologist, nurse, helper and a driver.

Dozens of patients from villages visiting the Civil Hospital said they had not seen MMUs coming to their villages for years. 

Gurpreet Singh, one of the patients, said, “The MMU service started by the Health Department was a good initiative as patients requiring medical care could get it at their doorstep. But the service has not been delivered fully by the district unit of the department.”


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