Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Jul 24:
Patients at Leprosy Home and Hospital at Nayabazar in Odisha’s Cuttack city on Thursday went on a fast protesting against unavailability of basic facilities at the centre.
This came after a patient suffered a fall in the ward on Wednesday due to darkness prevailing in the premises since long. There were no lights and fans in the surgery ward, which led to the minor mishap, the inmate alleged. Despite repeated representations, their requests have gone unheard. The members of the in-patient ward on Thursday went on a fast to protest against the lack of minimum facilities in the health centre.
At least 100 entries are registered at the out-patient department and the surgery department of the hospital performs surgeries on 10-20 patients every day.
On Wednesday, a patient admitted to the hospital fell down following which the other patients joined the protest and decided not to take food until the basic facilities of lights and fans are provided to them.
As the inmates remained firm on their demand, Cuttack-Choudwar MLA Pravat Ranjan Biswal reached the spot to pacify the agitators.
The aggrieved patients called off their agitation after the legislators assured them that their demands would be met at the earliest. True to their word, hospital authorities made provision for lighting and fan facilities in the wards within a couple of hours.
The poor state of health infrastructure in the hospital doesn’t end here. The patients are seen sitting lined up on the verandah out in the open due to the defunct lighting equipment necessary for post-surgical care.
Besides, it is alleged that there aren’t sufficient doctors in the 110-bed hospital.
The surgeons are available only on-call while the paramedical staff are unavailable most of the times. The doctors do not come on regular rounds, a patient alleged.
“We have five doctors in the hospital. Two of them have been sent on deputation last month to City Hospital here. We are taking measures to bring them back to Leprosy Home and Hospital in the first week of August,” Superintendent of the hospital, Dr Prabhasini Brahma said.
When asked about the light and fan issues, she said: “Two to three lights or fans not working is not a major issue. We had instructed the technicians to look into the maintenance of the electrical items. This situation has emerged due to delay in the works.”
She also assured that inquiry will be conducted into the allegations of operations being conducted in poor light.
It may be mentioned that the hospital was established in 1919 and has been a major centre for leprosy care in the country. Patients from across the state and other parts of the country arrive here for treatment. The Father of the Nation—Mahatma Gandhi—had also visited the premier hospital during his visit to the city.