The Valpoi Community Health Centre (CHC) is the only primary and secondary medical support facility available in Valpoi, unfortunately, the state of this once prestigious institution is presently deteriorating by the day.
The CHC, which was once a life support to the populace of Sattari taluka, has presently become a referral clinic due to the lack of proper medical facilities.
As per the information available, deaths of about 50 patients were reported during the last year — most of them died due to cardiac arrest and it is felt that these deaths could have been avoided had there been a cardiologist at the centre.
Although, the CHC managed to get a gynaecologist, the expectant mothers have to pay ` 600 for sonography, since there is no radiologist there to operate the sonography machine.
“An expecting mother has to pay around ` 600 to ` 800 for a test. Although the machine was installed long back it is lying unused as there is no radiologist to operate the same,” informed a hospital staff on condition of anonymity. Besides advance medical facilities, the CHC also lacks canteen facilities.
The CHC, which caters to the medical needs of nearly 70,000 residents, has facilities like X-ray, ECG, laboratory and OT. Ninety per cent of the CHC staff is permanent and includes medical officers, staff nurses, attendants, administrative and cleaning staff.
The 30-bed CHC also has 18 staff on contractual basis and from the data available; in the year 2011 nearly 43,840 patients visited the OPD. According to the information provided under RTI, CHC admitted around 2126 patients in 2011. However, CHC referred 1159 patients to Asilo Hospital in Mapusa or to the GMC in Bambolim, due to the lack of medical facilities, specialist doctors and surgeons.
Meanwhile, in 2012, from January to October, ambulance or 108 services attended nearly 581 cases of either moving the patients to the Mapusa District Hospital or to the GMC.
Sources also informed that patients admitted here after primary treatments are often moved to these two larger hospitals. Hospital sources said this is done as the required medical facilities and specialist doctors are not available to provide treatment in severe cases.
The CHC building is now showing signs of aging with the cement cover of the roof in the process of falling off from the ceiling slab. Authorities claim that they are spending about ` 10 lakh annually for the maintenance of the building, however, the ground reality paints a totally different picture.
While speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’ a social activist, Mr Vishwesh Prabhu said, “If we go through the facts and figures, then the government must take the new hospital work on a priority basis. The Chief Minister has assured publicly that he will inaugurate the new hospital building in the month of March; however, we are in the month of March and so far nothing concrete has been done.”
He also said that every month, nearly 3000 patients visit the OPD and in view of this the government must upgrade the present CHC or take up the new hospital work on priority and complete the same and commission the new hospital so that the people will get proper medical attention and facilities. [NT]