M. Sai Gopal

None of the 13 dispensaries have a specialist doctor

Lack of doctors, laboratory facilities are major areas which need to be addressed

The CGHS patients are referred to NIMS for specialist doctors

HYDERABAD: Dispensaries run by Central Government Health Services (CGHS) in the capital continue to dole-out sub-standard medical services to beneficiaries. The dispensaries were recently in the news when CBI conducted co-ordinated raids across the country to seize outdated drugs.

The raids seem to have had little impact, as beneficiaries maintain that the dispensaries remain unfriendly. Apart from outdated drugs, many patients maintained that authorities should also address other issues that have impacted them. Lack of doctors, frailties in infrastructure facilities, lack of laboratory facilities and no streamlining of medical services are major areas which need to be addressed, they maintain.

There are 13 CGHS dispensaries in twin cities but none of them have a specialist doctor. The proposal to recruit specialist doctors is pending since long time. The CGHS patients are referred to Nizams Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) for specialist doctors. “The drugs prescribed by specialists are usually not available at CGHS dispensary. So we have to wait at least for a week to receive our quota of drugs or purchase on our own,” says K. Ramakrishna, a beneficiary. None of the dispensaries in twin cities provide round the clock services to patients. In the past, CGHS had operated round the clock dispensaries at Begumpet, Himayathnagar and Malakpet.

“During emergencies, private hospitals and NIMS are the only options we have. Corporate hospitals do not admit beneficiaries because CGHS is yet to clear their medical bills,” says another patient Ram Mohan Rao.

The dispensaries do not have laboratory services and there is no single facility in twin cities for CGHS patients where all the laboratory tests can be conducted.

“For blood and urine tests we have to go to NIMS and for other tests we have to approach private labs. Senior citizens visit two to three facilities for their diagnostic tests,” says G.S. Vittal from Committee of Central Government Pensioner's Association.

With so many teething troubles afflicting dispensaries, beneficiaries maintained that ‘more' action is needed from authorities.