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Surgical ward waits for specialists
Published on 9 Jul. 2009 12:41 AM IST
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Surgical facilities worth crores of rupees are decaying in the First Referral Unit hospital in Dhakuakhana thanks to lack of specialists to handle the sophisticated equipment. So short-staffed is the 30-bed hospital that people of the subdivision have to travel 80km to the district headquarters in Lakhimpur when in need of specialised treatment. There are only four non-specialists, including an Ayurveda doctor. A dentist works on a contractual basis. Despite the government introducing a host of healthcare programmes to ensure institutional delivery, the Dhakuakhana does not have a gynaecologist. “For any pregnancy-related complication, especially those requiring Caesarean, patients have to travel to Lakhimpur by road from Dhakuakhana. And everybody knows the condition of roads in the flood-ravaged district,” Rajib Pegu, a student leader, said. With no specialists available, most patients prefer to travel to Lakhimpur than consult the general physicians at Dhakuakhana. The operation theatre, complete with expensive surgical equipment, has remained shut ever since it was inaugurated a few years back. “These equipment were supposed to be used by specialists. We don’t know how to use them,” a hospital staff said. Though health and family welfare minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had declared perks for doctors who worked in remote areas like Dhakuakhana, Sadiya, Majuli and North Cachar Hills, Dhakuakhana’s defunct hospital seems to prove that the promise of incentives has not worked. It might be mentioned that state health and family welfare minister Himanta Biswa Sarma who claims to have created a revolution in the state’s healthcare sector had stated that doctors will have to serve in remote locations like Dhakuakhana, Sadiya, Majuli and North Cachar Hills for which they will also been titled for additional perks. “It seems that Sarma had failed to lure doctors with his so-called attractive offers. Otherwise, we would have specialised doctors and the surgical ward would not be just another abandoned room,” Pegu said.

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