Silchar, January 6: All is not well with the state health services in the district of Cachar even after 68 years of Independence despite successive governments’ claim of improvement. There exists deficiencies in health centres, primary and subsidiary, across the district. Even the civil hospital of this town is yet to reach the level of perfection, both in man power and machine, to provide the best of services to patients. Their grievances often hit the media headlines, but are seldom addressed to their satisfaction.
The figures in respect of health centres are impressive, but not their inside story. The seven assembly segments of the district have 238 of them. While Silchar has 6 and one civil hospital, Dholai counts for 38, Soi 34, Udharbond 49, Katigorah 34, Borkhola 37 and Lakhipur 40. These include primary health centres, community health centres, block level primary health centres, multipurpose health centres, state dispensary as well as subsidiary health centres, besides model hospitals.
That these heath centres are not adequately manned can be easily understood from the general complaints of doctors and paramedical staff that they are overworked and overburdened, not to speak of necessary tools and equipments. As a specific instance, the total sanctioned strength of doctors in the district is 127. But, in reality only 59 have to look after the health centres and the possibility of filling up gaps by inducting the deficit 68 doctors looks remote.
Quite distressing sub centres for family welfare are manned by auxiliary nurse and midwifes (ANM). However, as the state health department claims all the sub centres are looked after by ANM as per their availability. There has been definite improvement in respect of supply of medicines to patients according to their requirements. The district medical store provides medicines to block primary health centres and community health centres regularly. The block PHCs then distribute the same to the sub centres under their respective jurisdiction.
The Civil Hospital here med after Satindra Mohan Dev is also not without deficiencies. The post of deputy superintendent for administrative expediency is presently lying vacant. However, child specialist, aesthetist and radiographer each is available. The superintendent of the premier medical institute is a medicine speclialist. The appointment of a pathologist is yet to materialize and is under consideration of the health department at Dispur. A radiologist in the rank of senior medical and health officer is working that too on attachment from Borkhola community health centre. The stereotype explation from the state is the appointment is under consideration.
The tale of deficiency in Civil Hospital does not end here. X–ray machine is out of order and in a non repairable condition. A new machine has been sanctioned under tiol Health Mission, but yet to be installed. More than 50 years old Civil Hospital is yet to have a wall of the X–ray machine room according to specifications. A separate X–ray unit has to be set up in a new building . That needs funds and the health department states it has no fund. Existing ultra sono graphy machine is old and is unworkable and needs to be replaced with the latest and updated colour Doppler USG machine, but again the question of fund comes which is not available. All these facts about the Cachar health scerio came out from the relevant questions of Silchar MLA Dilip Paul from Dr zrul Islam, Minister of Family Welfare and Health.