Amritsar, September 13
The lack of proper infrastructure along with insensitivity towards poor patients at government health facilities in the city is a cause of concern.
Only the poor strata, who cannot afford treatment at private clinics, visit government health facilities. The shortage of staff and medicines are other problems.
The lack of even basic facilities is visible from the unkempt patients’ wards and unusable washrooms in most of these government health centres in the city.
Patients are paying the price for the indifference of administrators of Guru Nanak Dev hospital (GNDH) associated with Government Medical College and the Employees State Insurance (ESI) Hospital.
No drinking water
There is no provision of clean drinking water for patients at the GNDH. Many water coolers installed on the hospital premises are lying defunct. Water purifiers are non-functional at the hospital. Doors of washrooms and windows of patients’ wards are broken.
No protection from dengue
“As malaria and dengue diseases are common in this season, patients admitted in wards have no protection from mosquitoes. The Health Department often asks people to take precautions against mosquito bites, but its own health institutions offer no facility to keep mosquitoes away,” said a visitor Satnam Singh.
ESI Hospital in shambles
The condition of the ESI Hospital is pitiable as its building needs immediate repairs. Mattresses of most beds are missing. A few people have brought their own nets to keep mosquitoes away. Lifts installed at the hospital are also lying defunct. The poor quality of service is evident from the fact that only lower strata of society, who cannot afford private clinics, constitute maximum number of patients. “People come here because they cannot pay fee at private clinics. I will not have come here if I had money,” said Jaswant Ram, a patient at the ESI Hospital.
Prescribed medicines not available
Patients also complained that most medicines prescribed by doctors were often not available at the government pharmacies. “Patients have to buy costly medicines from market even though the government claims to provide medicines free of cost,” said a patient at the GNDH.