Gangtok, 28 Jul:
The public of West Sikkim today marched from 10thMile to the main Bazaar area in Gyalshing demanding provision of adequate health facilities andother infrastructure and manpower, including medical officers,at the District Hospital here at par with hospitals of Gangtok andNamchi.
Under the banner of Sikkim Progressive Youth Forum, the march was initiated tobring the public cause into public domain. These issues, it is informed, were also submitted in a demand tabled with the Chief Minister in Februaryearlier this year. The Chief Minister, participants of the rally today said, had assured to provide adequate health infrastructure, manpower and adequatemedicines.
Despite the assurances from the highest level of the Government, thedemands remain unmet thus far, it was contended today.
SPYF, while addressing the gatheringat Gyalshing, that despite the Ministry of Health guidelines for District Hospitals laid-out in 2012 even the minimum basicfacilities were not provided to the Gyalshing District Hospital.
The Forum alleged that even medicines listed in the government’s free distribution list, including vaccines, were not available in the hospital.
In response to the public march, Commisisoner-cum-Secretary, Health Department, Vishal Chauhan, informed SummitTimes that the Department has posted 14specialists to Gyalshing District Hospital and all the X-Ray, USBmachines and other related equipment are functional and have adequatestaff.
He said that under NRHM, the department has proposed Rs 50 lakh tostrengthen the District Hospital including the establishment oflaboratories and have sent adequate medical staff to the districthospitals.
He admitted that only two Radiologists are available in the State Government and some doctors are pursuing their Master’s degrees asrequired by the State Government at Sikkim Manipal Institute ofMedical Sciences and RIMS at Manipur.
The State Government is serious about providing adequate facilities to all district hospitals,PHCs and CHCs level adding that recently 34 Doctors were appointed tofill posts lying vacant in rural and district hospitals.
MrChauhan further said that the State Government is recruiting 260 staff nurses and will complete the process shortlyto fulfill the remaining shortfall of manpower in district as wellas Gangtok State Referral Hospital.
Spokesperson of the Forum,Prabin Sharma, told the media that thepublic march was to register public anger against the negligenceof the State Government and to raise a genuine public demand.
“Public gathered here are just to remind the Government to fulfillits promise in larger public interest and we stand by what we aredemanding,” one of the members, Bhanu Sharma, said adding that the Forum has been raising issue since 2016.
“If Namchi District Hospital has adequate medical facilities includinga blood bank and proper lab and manpower then why isGyalshingHospital deprived of the same facilities,”MrSharma questioned.
Another member, Nim Sang Limboo, added, “Poor people from the district are not getting adequate medical facilities. They are forced to go the private practioners. Wedemand basic facilities of ultra-sound and X-Rays and medicaltests have to be done in Government hospital so that poor people are not forced to approach other district hospital.”
[with inputs from KN Sharma]