Ludhiana: Showing the poor state of affairs, there are only two permanent doctors and two deputation charge doctors at six Municipal Corporation dispensaries. These doctors have been provided by health department which are already in staff crunch situation.
MC dispensaries are situated at six places in city including Jawahar Nagar Camp, Shastri Nagar, Salem Tabri, Basti Jodewal, Qila Mohalla and Vishavkarma Chowk.
However, two more doctors are going to retire in coming October and September. MC is in dire need of doctors to run the dispensaries properly.
Despite the shortage, the MC has failed to recruit new doctors for the past few years.
People who belong to economically weaker sections visit these dispensaries frequently, but majority of them are forced to return or opt for private doctors, in absence of doctors or whenever the two doctors go on leave.
This burns a hole in the pockets of patients, as private doctors charge higher fee compared to the ‘parchee fee’ that is slip fee of few rupees charged by these dispensaries.
Reena Kumar, a maid, said, “Since, I cannot afford to visit private clinics and the civil hospital is also far from my home, I visit the nearest dispensary. The government should upgrade such dispensaries so that primary healthcare can be available at an affordable price.”
Besides, the laboratory and pharmacy wings are facing staff shortage as well. As simultaneously there is need of six pharmacists in dispensaries but there are only four pharmacists.
Only Class-IV employees are available in some dispensaries when a doctor is at meeting or attending to an emergency. Lack of information regarding dispensary timings and availability of doctors is also a major concern.
On visiting a dispensary, one of the staff members, on terms of anonymity, said it was patients who suffered whenever a doctor went from one dispensary to another to perform his or her duties.
According to sources, the MC is unable to hire doctors due to shortage of funds.
Apart from two of the doctors who are deployed at the dispensaries, the MC has two other medical officers who are deployed for solid waste management and sanitation.
Dr. Vipan Malhotra health officer MC, said, “We have four doctors, two of whom are deployed with the dispensaries, while the other two look into solid waste management and sanitation-related work. There is need of more recruitment of doctors”.
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