NORTH LAKHIMPUR, Sept 2 - Shortages of doctors, nurses and other infrastructural facilities have led to a deterioration in the health sector in Lakhimpur district. Presently only 60 doctors are working in the State health sector in the district which requires 115 of them. That means there is a shortage of 45 doctors in the district. Similarly, there are 103 nurses in various categories in Lakhimpur whereas the actual requirement is 170. In this sector, the shortage is of 67 nurses. Fourteen grade four posts in the Lakhimpur Health department are also lying vacant, which too are very important in the health service of the district.
At Dhakuakhona First Referral Hospital which requires 14 doctors, only six are presently working. One gynaecologist attached to this hospital is entrusted with additional charges of duty at North Lakhimpur Civil Hospital. The Panigaon Primary Health Centre has a shortage of one doctor and same is the case in Bihpuria, Nowboicha, Dhalpur, Azad and Bogeenadi PHCs. The present scenario is that doctors from different PHCs are shifted for duties to different hospitals to manage the shortage. This has created resentment among many doctors due to the low income and heavy workload. As a result, most of them have opted for the private health sector by resigning from the State service.
Poor people who come for free medical care at various hospitals and PHCs in the district hence are deprived of the same. On the contrary, the private health care sector is mushrooming doing brisk business by taking advantage of the poor public health services. However, these private sector nursing homes do not have any specialised health care systems and there are examples in which cancer patients are being attended by pediatricians. Most of the private nursing homes do not follow the mandatory waste management norms and other basic guidelines.
The Lakhimpur district health sector also lacks emergency trauma services and ambulances. The Lakhimpur district unit of AASU has staged a series of protests against the poor health care services. They also staged a sit-in protest on August 29 in North Lakhimpur against this problem.