SILCHAR, Sept 20 - At a time when the State machinery is concentrating on rejuvenating the health scenario in Government-run hospitals, the condition of Silchar Medical College and Hospital (SMCH) tells a different story altogether.
During the past one month, there has been no patient for pacemaker surgery in the Department of Cardiology. There are 10 faculty members and 18 students in the Department of Radiology with two machines, but patients are made to wait for 25 days for their ultrasound tests and reports. The hospital is also facing acute shortage of essential drugs.
Visibly baffled by the deplorable state of the Silchar Medical College and Hospital, Health Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday made his stance clear before the administrative unit of SMCH, that he wants a visible change in the hospital before his next visit in mid-October this year.
�This Government-run hospital must gear up to compete with the private nursing homes. There has to be a change in the approach and attitude of the doctors and administrative staff towards disseminating services to the people,� the Health Minister was quoted as saying. He also added to say that the Government has started processing for filling up the 45 posts lying vacant in the hospital in different categories.
Sarma was particularly unhappy with the performance of the Department of Cardiology. Reacting to the statement of Dr PC Sarma, Head of the Department of Cardiology that no patient has turned up for pace maker surgery in the last one month, the Health Minister said, �when there is a heavy rush of patients at Dibrugarh and Jorhat, the statistics of the department is unacceptable. If this is the condition, advertisements in newspapers will be issued and camps shall be organised to attract patients to avail the services at the Government hospital at subsidised rates,� the Health Minister maintained.
He also asked the doctors of the Department of Surgery to resume treating laparoscopic patients at the earliest. In a reply to the prevailing space crunch to adjust machines for ultrasound tests, Sarma said that the hospital superintendent should shift his chamber outside and allow the machine to be installed so that the patients need not wait beyond seven days to undergo the tests and receive the reports. He informed that the hospital will soon have an evening OPD for senior citizens.
Expressing concern over the high rate of maternal mortality rate which registered 150 deaths per 10,000 patients, besides the high 15 per cent infant mortality rate at the hospital, Sarma said that the Department of Gynaecology must address this issue on a priority basis.
The Minister also asked the Principal of SMCH to follow the biometric attendance record while disbursing salaries of the doctors and staff members of the hospital.