The hospital was housed in a three-storey building with modern equipment only four years back. It did not matter that the building had a number of technical faults like the leaking of sewage from toilets which gave the authorities sleepless nights.
Being the only such hospital in the border district, it was provided with intensive care unit (ICU) and special neonatal care unit (SNCU). The Health Department was to provide six specialists for both the units and other paramedical staff besides class IV employees. But nothing was done to take the facilities to another level.
Because of this, serious patients were referred either to Amritsar or to hospitals in other places. The hospital had a sanctioned strength of 33 posts of doctors, including specialists. As many as 17 posts of doctors and specialists have been lying vacant since long. The vacant posts include two each of child specialists and anaesthetists, one each of gynaecologist, radiologist and ophthalmologist, besides others.
There was no facility for CT scan and the MRI here when the ultrasound machine was not being used as the post of the radiologist was laying vacant.
Dr Nirmal Singh, SMO-cum-in charge of the hospital, said the shortage of the doctors has become a major problem in the hospital and is affecting its smooth working. As a result, the doctors and the staff are working under pressure.
Dedicated to social cause
An eye specialist, Dr Kashmir Singh Sohal, who sought premature retirement from the Health Department, has dedicated his services to the social cause. Dr Sohal, who was the president of Vikas Manch Punjab (VMP), took a serious note of the pollution created by government institutions in the town. He wrote a number of letters to the state government against draining waste water of the town in the Kasur Nullah which was proving to be a health hazard besides emitting a foul smell. The VMP launched a special drive for planting trees in the educational institutions and planted 2,000 trees recently. The VMP also organises seminars against drugs and other social evils from time to time. (with pic)
Not Chandigarh, but Mohalla Chandigarh
Mohalla Chandigarh was a village in this border district which was represented by Jasbir Kaur (28) as the sarpanch. It was previously a part of village Fatehabad falling under Khadur Sahib block where the Scheduled Caste (Dalit) population was hundred per cent. The locality was given the status of village only three and half years back and the present panchayat was the village’s first. Jasbir Kaur said though the village has completed a number of development works after the formation of the panchayat, the village pond filled with silt has become a major problem for the residents. The polluted water of the pond often spills out on to the streets which makes the life of the residents miserable.