Gurdaspur: The newly built maternity hospital in Batala, which was built with a lot of promises, now wears a deserted look as it has been left “unattended” due to shortage of staff. A year after its inauguration it is yet to operate in the historic and industrial town of Batala. It was inaugurated by the Health and Family Welfare Minister, Surjit Kumar Jiyani, on May 29, last year.
The state government had allocated Rs 3.31 crore to the Punjab Health Systems Corporation to construct a 30-bed maternity hospital on the Mata Sulakhni Civil Hospital premises under the Janani Surksha Yojana (JSY) launched by the Union government. But it could not be operational due to lack of staff. At present, the facility is not open to the people, who were being forced to go to private nursing homes, which were mushrooming in each and every corner of the town. According to the norms, a 30-bed maternity needs two gynecologists, two paediatricians, eight nurses, ward attendants and sanitation staff, besides an operation theatre and other equipment.
But the authorities have provided only furniture. The unavailability of the staff is affecting the flow of patients at the civil hospital and is daily increasing, yet the government is not showing any interest in providing the hospital with staff and equipment. Interestingly, the hospital had two gynecologists, one of them retired on August 31, 2015, and the other was on long leave, which had led to distress among delivery patients as the government had been motivating people to have a secure delivery in government hospitals.
Local legislator Ashwani Sekhri alleged that he had brought the project during the previous Congress government at the Centre but he was not invited to attend the inauguration ceremony. Meanwhile, Senior Medical Officer Sanjiv Bhalla, said that the hospital had beds and other furniture but staff was still awaited even as he had sent reminders to the Punjab Health Systems Corporation and other senior officers of the Health Department.
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