In This Town In Uttarakhand, There Is Just One Doctor In Its Community Heath Center

Posted on November 2, 2016

By Shadab Alam Hindustanwala:

If we refer to news, as evidence for negligence at primary and community health centers, we can find plenty number of cases which have been reported about scarcity of doctors at primary health centers (PHCs), community health centers (CHCs) and public hospitals. But the scarcity of doctors has been so for a very long time but the government does not try to resolve the issue.

One of my friends visited the only public health care center in Bhimtal, a town in Uttarakhand, since he had some problems to discuss with available doctors at the center. From the outside, what we saw was satisfactory infrastructure of the community health center.

But when we entered in the building, I was amazed, because there was only a single ambulance and a single doctor, who was a child specialist but was handling patients who had been diagnosed with dengue, tuberculosis and other chronic diseases. Bhimtal has a population of around 8000 (as per 2011 census), and it has thousands of moving tourists, which may need emergency medical care. But this CHS does not have sufficient equipment and infrastructure to deal with such cases.

Further, what if any emergency occurs? Let’s say if someone met with a road accident in this difficult mountainous terrain, how will the CHC manage this particular case? Of course, there would be a higher risk for them to lose their lives. In addition, the CHC is also not capable to manage a delivery case, since the CHC does not have doctors and other resources to manage these kind of cases. Furthermore, if the individual wants to approach the nearest town for emergency cases, it will take at least one hour to reach there.

When we inquired about the current situation of the CHC, the clerk told me that, a month ago, two more doctors were here, but they had gone because they had reached the end of their respective contracts. But, the question remains as to why the concerned authority did not extend the contract of those doctors or why the state government did not appoint new doctors?

And surely, it is happening probably because of two reasons. First, the fragility of the respective state government in the context of ensuring fundamental rights of its citizens and second, the respective states don’t have an effective health policy to deal with it. But, whatever the reasons might be, the government should find the problem and fix it accordingly. The residents of Bhimtal are Indian voters as well. They have cast their votes for good governance, but they have been deprived of the same.