Needed: A syringe to infuse life into Himachal PHCs



A recent visit to the local primary health center (PHC) in my village Bhutti in Kumarsain tehsil left me gaping! I had gone to get my daughter vaccinated for Hepatitis B. I was shocked when told there was no syringe available at the PHC. I could not simply believe my ears and asked him again. This PHC caters to 1,000 people of the nearby villages. One can very well imagine plight of patients in an emergency. There is no medical shop in the vicinity and the nearest one is 8 km away. If this shop is closed then one has to travel 25 km away to Narkanda.

Imagine a health center operating without a basic thing like syringe. This has been my first brush with the rural health service. I visited the PHC around noon, which should have been a busy hour, but the PHC was without a single soul. Indeed that is good news, but considering the ‘health’ of this health center one can very well imagine why people start shunning government dispensaries.

On the other hand, Bengali ‘doctors’ here are doing brisk business. People throng their ‘clinics’ in large number for all sorts of problems. Practically, health care in rural areas is being run by these Bengali doctors. Government labels them quacks but I have seen them prescribing allopathic medicines and are readily available even in case of minor accidents. At least they keep a syringe, a bare basic requirement in medical profession.

Doctor in-charge of the PHC must be the one responsible for keeping inventory and supplies of the bare minimum requirements. Though, I do not wish to generalize but given the Tanda ‘murder’ incident, one can guess with what morals and ethics doctors pass out from medical colleges these days. Icing of the cake happens when they are posted in rural areas where they are the king of their fiefdom with least accountability and nil responsibility. Of course, the doctor alone is not to be blamed for the sorry state of affair as our general administrative setup itself lacks will,

Thanks to this incident, I now know where to head for first aid. Next time you read anything negative about the Bengali docs, just brush it off. They can be life-savers in times of need. The babudom can meanwhile take pride in stating impressive figures on the number of PHCs opened. The netas too can wear pride on their chest and keep cutting the ribbons in such opening ceremonies.

Hats off to our GovernMint..!!!

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  1. Dear you looked up in the wrong place…syringes wre the in the sarkari records! The very idea of reservations is for uplifted to go back and help uplift the remaining but the very pros who come from such backgrounds(tribal/SC/ST etc.) never go back since they've 'arrived' in life! The vicious cycle continues…

  2. Nityin

    I for one believed that rural health services were gasping for oxygen.

    But with there not even being a syringe at the PHC, which you visited, indicate a more critical situation.

    There is a misplaced appropriation of funds for schemes that get nowhere and due to increasing expenditure on them, the government is slowly withdrawing from basics like health care and education.

    At the receiving end its going to be you,me and others like us.

  3. This is not all. I have even seen such PHCs in villages where localites call compounder as doctor. Since the doctors who are posted to some remote areas do not join even for months and keep running after ministers to adjust their postings, compounders or male health workers have to take care of PHCs. And imagine the condition of the patient who suffers some serious accident and needs immediate attention of the doctor !

    I have even seen such Ayurveda dispensaries in villages where doctors keep Allopathy medicines with their own interest, as they do not get supply of medicines in time.

  4. These are the some of the reasons that qualified doctors are not present in current rural scenario. There is no greatness in blaming the doctors. If somebody has to blame, one must blame the apathetic Govt. policies. Govt. has only given slogans like Health is Wealth, India Lives in Villages but not acted accordingly. The Govt. has never increased the budget for health, and when budget is not there and rampant corruption is there, nobody should expect better results.

    Health system totally depends on a qualified doctor at the helm of affairs but today he is ruled by the beaurocrates and these IAS fellows decide the various health programme and policies. These are the root causes of this disaster named, �Shortage of qualified medical doctors in rural area�

    Create a conducive working atmosphere at PHCs for a medical officer to stay and efficiently discharge his job functions. Its not that the doctors are not willing to join PHCs, it�s the government who is creating a situation there by even the willing doctors are refrained from providing services to the needy rural population

    so there are multiple reason and like in every field doctors are also bad and good

    but for anything u cannot blame sinle unit of system when somewhom whole system is like that

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