Praful Chander Nagpal
Fazilka, November 19
The health services are in shambles in the border district of Fazilka due to shortage of Programme Officers, Senior and Emergency Medical Officers (EMO). The emergency services are the worst hit. Out of total 9 sanctioned posts of Emergency Medical Officer, 8 are vacant at the district hospital here. In Sub-divisional Hospital Abohar, 6 posts of EMOs are vacant against the sanctioned 10 posts. Out of total 32 posts of EMOs, 20 are vacant in the hospitals and 6 Community Health Centres. No night emergency services are available in rural areas.
In the absence of EMOs, the authorities are forced to deploy specialist doctors for the purposes, resulting in leaving the patients in lurch.
The position of the heads of the hospitals is also worse as against the 9 posts of SMOs, only 2 Senior Medical Officers are posted in the Sub-divisional Hospital at Abohar and the Community Health Center at Ramsara in Abohar subdivision. The posts of SMO at the Fazilka District Hospital has been lying vacant for over an year. Moreover, there are no Medical specialist doctors posted at the district headquarters and the only dermatologist, Dr Karamjot Kaur, has reportedly submitted her resignation.
The position is worrisome in the rural areas. Out of total 30 posts of specialist doctors, 23 are vacant in the Community Health Centres of Jalalabad, Ramsara, Dabwala Kalan, Sito Gunno, Bahaw Wala and Khui Khera.
Besides this, there is no Civil Surgeon, Assistant Civil Surgeon, District Immunisation Officer, District Dental Health Officer, District Epidemiologist, District Health Officer and Deputy Medical Commissioner posted in Fazilka district. Out of total 7 sanctioned posts of District Programme Officers, only one, Dr Kavita Singh, posted as District Family Planning Officer has been holding the fort in the district.
While lashing out at AAP government, former Health Minister Surjit Kumar Jyani said the tall claims of better health services are on papers and the advertisements only, and nothing has been done on ground.
Health Minister Dr Balbir Singh while admitting the mess in health services during to his visit to Jalalabad recently, claimed that his department was focusing on improving services in border districts of Fazilka, Tarn Taran and Gurdaspur. He said the state government has sanctioned Rs 550 crore to strengthen secondary health care and Rs 1,900 crore for buying medical equipment. “Besides this, 350 doctors are being recruited soon”, claimed the Health Minister.
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