SILCHAR, March 27: It has been pointed out umpteen times that the health services in the state of Assam are in shambles. The conditions of rural health centres are deteriorating day by day as if the ministry of health has developed an indifferent and casual attitude towards the problems and the resultant sufferings of the poor and helpless patients. A round of the rural health centres spread across the district of Cachar will present a depressing picture with idequate medical and nursing staff.
A classic example of total negligence of the health department is the Jalalpur primary health centre located near Indo-Bangladesh and Meghalaya border. People of the areas have been complaining against the state of affairs inside the PHC for long but no effective measures have been taken by the higher authorities concerned of the district. In a memorandum submitted to the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar today, citizens of Jalalpur and the cluster of villages around have focused on the problems of the PHC affecting the services to patients.
According to them, for the last 4 years there have been no permanent SDMO and health officer. 2 doctors P B Choudhury and Abdul Latif used to take care of the patients. They have been transferred to some other medical centres. Presently, there is no doctor in the health centre. 2 pharmacists have been running the services. Though Dr. T H Choudhury has been given the assignment here, he comes to the centre once in a week that too to look after the administrative works.
Apart from the lack of medical and nursing staff, various other deficiencies are plaguing the health centre. There is no safe drinking water provision. Patients have to be given water fetched from the nearby Baleswar river which is unfit for consumption. But there is no altertive. The ambulance services are also closed. 1 ambulance is lying in a dead condition. Nobody knows where the 102 ambulance has been taken. There is none to provide any answer.
From all reckoning, there is nothing like health service to the patients of the border areas. The people of Jalalpur have been pressing for long for the improvement of the PHC. All their pleas and memoranda to the joint authorities have fallen on deaf ears. There is no sign of any positive development and the patients continue to suffer. Finding no other altertive, the citizens who include office bearers and members of zila parishad, gaon panchayat and anchalik panchayat as well as NGOs have given a 10 day ultimatum to go for mass agitation if the following demands are not met within the stipulated time. The demands are to appoint permanent SDMO, health officer and 2 doctors, supply of safe drinking water and to resume ambulance services in the Jalalpur PHC.