‘No way’ to Family Physician for tribals

The medical officers working in the Agency areas also complain of poor mobile network becoming a hurdle in uploading patient data to the official website

Published - December 02, 2022 08:11 am IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

Photograph used for representational purposes only

Photograph used for representational purposes only | Photo Credit: AFP

The Family Physician programme by the State Government aimed to offer better medical services comes as a boon for people, especially in the rural and the Agency areas. However, it remains elusive to many tribals of the Alluri Sitarama Raju (ASR) district due to the lack of good road and network connectivity.

Doctor to your doorstep

The programme ensures that one medical officer stays in the Primary Health Centre (PHC) and a second doctor visits places like the Anganwadi centres, schools or government offices under the Sachivalayam limits.

That way, one doctor gets to meet and treat many people at these centres, and the arrangement is also convenient for the public. The programme offers almost 14 medical services, from treating fevers to attending to pregnant women.

However, the programme remains elusive to several tribals in the ASR district as the journey to the medical camps held far from their hamlets is cumbersome due to the lack of proper road connectivity. As per a senior official, over 900 habitations from the Agency do not have basic road connectivity.

The rain threat

”The situation in the Agency is different from planes. Some Sachivalayams in the Agency areas have around 600 households, and a few hamlets are located 4 km to 5 km from the main centre with no road connectivity. Water streams separate a few other hamlets; the only way for the people to reach the medical camp is by crossing the gushing streams. Given this situation, it is unlikely that the tribals would visit the camps regularly for a doctor consultation,” said a medical officer.

Sharing his experience, a medical officer from Paderu said that even though he had received several patients,, a good number of tribals could not attend due to a lack of proper roads.

“There may not be any issues now. But it is difficult to run the programme during the rains because it is dangerous to cross the water streams that flow with full force at that time,” he opined.

Poor mobile connectivity

The officials say they need to log in to their official website when they start the programme and upload the patients’ data after the consultation. However, the lack of mobile connectivity has hindered doctors from doing so.

“Data transfer is a major problem in almost all the mandals. The medical officers have brought the issue to our notice. The lack of mobile towers and the thick fog during this time of the year has become an issue. We have informed the government about it,” said Additional District Medical and Health Officer Dr. K. Leela Prasad.

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