Unable to cope with a sudden rush of patients, the Saipau Community Health Centre in Rajasthan has shifted non-critical cases outside its main building. The health centre, which has just 15 beds, is overwhelmed as there has been a spike in the cases of viral fever after monsoon rains.
Family and caretakers of admitted patients have to fight for space to sleep at night. Without adequate sanitation facilities open defecation is frequent and poses a serious health risk to patients.
It is not just the lack of beds which has doctors worried at the centre.
Community health centres are a crucial link in rural health care, and are meant to provide health services in areas that do not have hospitals with modern facilities. Often more serious cases are referred to bigger and better equipped district hospitals.