The ‘model hospital’ at Buttayagudem, the mandal headquarters in the Agency of West Godavari district, turns out to be a bad model in delivery of health services.
The local Primary Health Centre (PHCC) was upgraded into a model hospital with Rs 15 lakh collected from several philanthropists under the ‘Vidya Nidhi’ scheme following a call by then Collector A. Vani Prasad in 2010. With this, it has acquired the status of a community health centre (CHC) with a provision for referral services. However, the so-called model hospital has been allegedly subjected to utter neglect.
The promise for appointment of specialist in paediatrics, gynaecology and anaesthesia as part of its upgrade is yet to become a reality.
Although the hospital with a CHC status is supposed to have three staff nurses, it presently runs with only one nurse. The lab established at the centre with the equipment such as semi-auto analyzer, ultrasound scanning machine, baby warmer and phototherapy unit with the Vydya Nidhi funds was damaged in a fire due to a short circuit in April last. It is not yet restored. The fate of the ‘model hospital’ triggered protest among tribals.
The relay fast launched by the tribals under the banner of the Andhra Pradesh Girijana Sangham seeking improvement of the CHC condition entered third day on Wednesday. The ailing tribals are reportedly spending huge amounts on medical tests in private labs due to the failure of the Department of Medical and Health to replace the equipment, especially the semi-auto analyzer. According to Francis, a CPI (M) leader from the area, the inhabitants of nearly 140 tribal hamlets have been put to hardship for want of restoration of the lab.
Five PHCs are functioning under the jurisdiction of the CHC and their condition is also reportedly no better. According to reports, the PHC at Antarvedigudem is lacking Medical Officer for long. Although a new building was built a year ago to house the PHC there, it is not inaugurated yet for want of power supply.
The government has sanctioned Rs 10 lakh for constructing a building to house a PHC at Nandapuram. But the proposal becomes a non-starter for the last two years.
The PHC at Puliramannagudem runs without the Medical Officer. In addition, two nurse posts remained vacant for quite some time.
There are many complaints, such as the doctor at the Doramamidi PHC is allegedly available only twice a week.
The Medical and Health department drew flak from public representatives at a recent District Review Committee meeting for shifting of equipment like ultrasound scanning machine and semi-auto analyzer from the Puliramannagudem PHC in the Agency to the area hospital at Jangareddygudem in the plains.