SILCHAR, April 1: Assam Medical Service Association (AMSA), Cachar unit, expressed its deep anguish at the incident that happened in the Lakhipur block primary health centre on March 24. In an emergent meeting, all the members of the Association held under the chairmanship of Dr. S J Das recently, joint director of health of the district taking a serious view of the midnight incident adopted 4 point resolution unimously. The incident of the day was reported in The Sentinel.
All the members expressed their surprise that despite widespread vandalism by the mob not only in the hospital but also in the adjacent staff quarters, there was no arrest of the culprits involved by the police till date. It resulted in huge damage and losses to properties in both the premises. It was opined that the sub-divisiol administration should take into custody the culprits within 48 hours. It was a matter of grave concern that on duty doctors and medical staff were targeted.
There was also unimity of opinion that Dr. S S Das, sub-divisiol medical and health officer of the block primary health centre should be allowed to continue his services in the hospital in the interest of people in general. The district administration should provide full security to Dr. Das after being reposted at the centre. it is to be recollected that in the wake of public outrage over the death of a pregnt woman allegedly due to the negligence of attending doctor, Dr. Das was withdrawn from here.
Like any other primary or subsidiary health centres across the district of Cachar, this Lakhipur block level primary health centre has also been short of medical staff including qualified doctors and nurses. But, sadly enough despite repeated representations to the higher authorities of the health department, no effective action has been taken to fill up the vacant posts. According to AMSA, out of the total sanctioned posts of 94 medical officers of different categories, 27 have been lying vacant for a long time in various health centres.
It was also pointed out that most of the sanctioned posts of medical officers were created more than 20 years ago, considering the then population pattern of health institutions of the district. To cite specifically, one block level primary health centre today covers more than a minimum of 1 lakh population compared with that of two decades ago when one BPHC was meant to serve a population of 30,000 only. It was on the basis of population that the posts were created and sanctioned.
Though the population covered by each BPHC has increased 3 times today, the post creation is not being done on population basis. It therefore goes beyond the capacity of existing medical officers and staff to render services to patients with individual attention and concentration. It has become quite strenuous on the part of the medical staff and doctors to look after all the tiol Health Mission programmes as well as different other assignments and to treat the outdoor and indoor patients effectively.
AMSA has therefore impressed upon the Government of Assam to consider seriously the present position of different categories of medical officers and paramedical staffs in relation to the needs and requirements of health centres. The vacant posts should be filled up in the general interests of the people in general.
A note of caution has also been sounded for the district administration. The culprits involved in the midnight incident still at large should be arrested within 48 hours. Failing which, members of AMSA will have no option than to go for prolong agitation which might see closure of health centres across the district. For the collapse of health services, the district administration and the health department will be responsible.