From our Correspondent
DIGBOI September 20: While State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is striving hard to streamline the health department in the interest of people of all classes, the scerio at Digboi CHC speaks otherwise.
Digboi CHC located in the heart of the oil town of Digboi, equipped almost with all the basic amenities and technologies, is known for alleged corruption, irregularities and anomalies, including the delayed reporting of the doctors and staffs for their regular assigned duty.
According to sources at the hospital and patients being admitted and some discharged from hospital recently, they had been asked to pay for undergoing pre-tal operation (maternity) and appendix operation ranging from Rs 4,000 to Rs 6,500. The patients had to pay extra money for certain tests without money receipts from the cash counter. The doctors also insisted the patients to go for certain tests and medical examition to private lab or nursing homes almost every day. Poor patients from the rural pockets, including Pengaree, Bordumsa, Balijan and Borjan, had to pay exorbitant charges rather than the prices fixed by the Government of Assam for all the government-run hospitals across the State.
According to two women who underwent pre-tal operation, they had to deposit Rs 4,000 and Rs 6,500 in the cash counter before the operation and balance amount was to be paid just before the release.
The IC of Digboi CHC, Gautam Saikia admitted administrative lapses and ongoing corruption and said that he would tell the doctors and staffs not to repeat such acts. Saikia admitted of similar reports from different sources and assured to take the matter seriously. He, however, added, “I have already informed the higher authority and I cannot do anything beyond that.”
Ironically, when contacted, a doctor who allegedly asked patients to pay extra, said that corruption existed everywhere in the government service sector, including the health department, but in proportion. According to him, certain test and medical examitions were very crucial and urgent and as such they refer the patients outside for the same, complaining of poor infrastructure and manpower crunch in the government hospital.