Uttar Pradesh's failing healthcare system exposed once again. First there was the Babu Banarsi Das hospital in Bulandshahr where a ward boy and sweeper doubled up as doctors.
Now Sarbhanna Village's only primary healthcare centre, which is the only hospital for 12 villages around it, has in its 5 years of existence, never had electricity. There are switchboards but no switches. Wires hang about precariously and the little bit of the equipment in the hospital lie unused.
When NDTV visited the hospital, the emergency ward was in dilapidated condition. The general wards were no different, with old mattresses, broken equipment and dirt everywhere. And no electricity is just one of the problems for patients here.
Manoj Kumar, who has studied up to class 10, plays doctor in the hospital, as there are no doctors to be seen anywhere. He tells us, he himself hasn't seen any doctor in the last four months so how will patients see them.
For the helpless villagers, not allowing Manoj to treat them is an option they don't have. "There are no doctors here. For us he is the doctor," says Neeraj a villager who comes to the hospital for treatment.
This situation is not unique to Sarbhanna's hospital. In another hospital in Sultanpur Biloni, there is a hospital constructed five years ago. But there isn't a single qualified doctor seen there since then. A fact reiterated by several villagers whom NDTV spoke to at the hospital.
In Ballia district's hospital, a video showed a cleaner giving stitches to a young boy. Rajiv a cleaner in the emergency ward was stitching the wounds of a small boy who had sustained an injury. The Chief Medical Superintendent (CMS) of the Ballia district hospital admitted that the cleaner should not have been stitching up.
These are just small examples of how even basic healthcare is a luxury in Uttar Pradesh.
For now, the Chief Medical Superintendent (CMS) of the Babu Banarsi Das District hospital in Bulandshahr has been removed and the ward boy, who was involved giving stitches to patients, has been suspended. But the dismal state of public healthcare needs more than this quick fix in India's most populous state, where there is a shortage of over 4000 doctors.
Story first published:
July 13, 2012 14:50 IST