Sitamarhi district. After the shocking multi crore scam in the public health sector in Bihar came to light a few weeks ago, many government run district hospitals are still short of basic facilities. The Sitamarhi district hospital has few medicines that are otherwise supposed to be available on a regular basis for patients.
With a population close to 35 lakh, Sitamarhi’s largest government run health centre – the district hospital – was recently found to have almost none of the medicines that its very own doctors were prescribing to the patients. Indu Devi, a resident of Metauna village (27 kilometres from Sitamarhi) of Sursand block said, ‘I came here to get treated for a fever. I have been here for 2 days and have already spent 40 rupees in getting a blood test. I was hoping that I would get free medicines that should be available at the hospital but now I will have to buy them from a pharmacy.’ Similarly, Suman Kumar, a resident of Riga block’s Pannapur village, also could not find medicines prescribed to her by the doctor at the government hospital.
Asked to comment on the problem, gynaecologist Dr. Sudha Jha said, ‘We, as doctors deputed here, check the patients and write prescriptions. It is not our responsibility to see where the patients are getting these medicines from.’
Refusing to comment on how the unavailability of common medicines is posing a problem for poor patients, Chief Medical Officer (C.M.O.) of Sitamarhi, Dr. Arvind Kumar Gupta said, ‘It is because of the recent discovery of the scam that right now we are busy with putting together our logs and updating records of what medicines were bought and used and by when. This way we’ll know what stock remains and what we need to get.’
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