Call for more doctors, medical staff in rural Assam

DOOMDOOMA, FEB 9 ( AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 2/9/2020 12:24:18 PM IST

Several organisations and residents in Upper Assam’s Tinsukia district on Saturday said the BJP-led government had done a lot to develop the infrastructure of rural hospitals but they should also ensure adequate doctors, surgeons and expert paramedical staff, reports The Telegraph .

A Union health ministry report said the Assam health department has been running with a shortfall of 1,731 sub-centres and health and wellness centres in the rural areas and a sizeable number of male health workers. The report, Rural Health Statistics (2018-19), talks about some positive aspects like increasing number of health centres and government buildings but says Assam continues to be one of the states with poor health infrastructure. 
“The BJP-led government has done a lot to develop the infrastructure in rural hospitals across the state but they should also ensure appointment of adequate doctors, surgeons and expert paramedical staff, especially in the tea garden hospitals. Most of the garden hospitals have no doctors as many resigned after the lynching of Dr Deben Dutta, a senior doctor in Teok tea estate in Jorhat district,” said Assam Tea Tribes Students’ Association’s Doomdooma unit secretary.
Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad Tinsukia unit president Surojit Moran said, “We appeal to minister of state for health and family welfare Pijush Hazarika to look after healthcare centres in the rural areas where people are completely dependent upon government hospitals.”
The residents of Margherita subdivision and Phillobari also appealed to the district administration to appoint adequate doctors and medical staff at Ritu Kathalguri Model Hospital.
Phillobari resident Rajani Buragohain said, “Although Phillobari Model Hospital is quite big, the lack of adequate medical care and facilities leads to patients being referred either to Doomdooma first referral unit, Tinsukia civil hospital or Assam Medical College and Hospital in Dibrugarh. If the model hospital was well-equipped, people would not have to waste time, energy and money.”
Residents of Dangari and Talap in Doomdooma subdivision also urged the government to appoint adequate doctors for the Dangari community health centre.
The report says rural Assam needs 6,374 sub-centres and HWC-SC (health and wellness centres upgraded from sub-centres) but is running with a shortfall of 1,731, which is 27 per cent of the total requirement. There is a shortfall of 94 primary health centres (PHC) and HWC-PHCs (health and wellness centres upgraded from PHC) against the requirement of 1,040 and shortfall of 32 community health centres against the requirement of 260.
It says rural Assam has 3,080 male and 9,010 female health workers against the requirement of 4,643 in each category.
According to the report, there are only 56 dental surgeons in rural Assam against the requirement of 354. There is a shortfall of 572 specialists — 171 surgeons, 95 obstetricians and gynaecologists, 171 physicians and 135 paediatricians — besides a shortfall of 87 radiographers.

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