SPYF reiterates 2-point charter of demands for proper healthcare; Wants demands met by 30 Nov

Gangtok, 23 Aug:

Sikkim Progressive Youth Forum today reiterated its 2-point charter of demands seeking proper healthcare infrastructure and facilities in Sikkim and has warned that it will take to the roads in protest if the demands are not met by 30 November, 2020.

SPYF, it may be recalled, had launched a major movement in the year 2018 demanding that hospitals in Sikkim meet the IPHS guidelines and provide free medicines and all other medical facilities to the people of Sikkim. This 2-point agenda had received the endorsement of more than 10,000 people who had signed the petition.

Now, in light of the recent spate of five deaths at hospitals in Sikkim due to alleged negligence, the organization has served the government a deadline till 30 November to meet these two demands, failing which, SPYF will take to the streets in protest.

An SPYF press release issued today that Health Minister, Dr MK Sharma, had assured the organization that the demands would be met within two months of the budget session except the appointment of super specialists for which he had said the department requires more time.

However, even after five months of the budget session the face of the govt hospital has remained static, if not gone worse, the SPYF release states.

The SPYF ultimatum has been triggered by the five deaths “which could have been avoided.”

The media attention focused on these incidents have highlighted the inadequacy of the health infrastructure in Sikkim, the release adds.

The release adds that there are many un-reported instances when families with patients referred to CRH, opt to take the patients home because they cannot afford treatment at CRH.

Then there is the case of government hospital not providing free medicines and other requirements to patients which also affects the underprivileged and their chance of receiving treatment.

Moreover, in the absence of doctors, specialists, necessary equipment, technicians etc in the district hospitals they cannot handle even minor complications, the release adds.

“As a result, even for minor complication patients are referred to CRH or New STNM. The condition of PHCs and PHSCs is so bad that people hardly go there. They are there only for the name sake. Poor people, villagers, people far away from Gangtok are dying daily like cats and dogs. The cost of private hospital is so high that 90% of the total population of the state cannot afford it,” SPYF highlights.

The release also points out that Sikkim Krantikari Morcha has behaved differently when in Opposition and in office.

“When SKM was in opposition they had extended their unconditional support to all our movement including the Gangtok Chalo. In the Gangtok Chalo movement almost all the top brass leaders of the ruling party including the most of the ministers and the MP today had sat in Dharna along with us in the DAC compound. In the memorandum submitted to the Health minister some of the ministers today have also signed in it. However, when they are in the decisive position today, the position where they can fulfil all the demands, their attitude towards the same demands has changed. It has been more than a year now yet not a single step has been taken in the direction of fulfilling the demands,” the release states.