Rayagada: Even as the state government is poised to provide improved healthcare to people in tribal districts of Odisha, the denizens of Rayagada district are deprived of basic facilities and face scores of difficulties in this regard, a report said.
According to sources, people in the district are compelled to go outside hospitals for availing modern healthcare. As a result, they incur huge expenses and waste a lot of time.
By and large, this affects the poor segment of people more and it is said that over 3,000 patients from here move to other district hospitals every month for availing better treatment, sources added.
Nearly 250 patients are shifted every month from Rayagada district headquarters hospital to Koraput and Berhampur hospitals. In critical condition, travelling a distance of 130 km to 200 km worsens condition of patients and at times takes lives, much before availing treatment.
A close study of Rayagada health department records of past two years reveals that over 80,000 persons in the district fall sick in a month. Patients face utter difficulties in hospitals at other districts as well as outside the state, including both government and private.
There is gross shortfall of infrastructure in healthcare in Rayagada district. In case of fatal diseases like sickle cell, there are no facilities available here at all. Moreover, improved and modern facilities are also not available for diseases like cancer, cardiac disorders, diabetes and neurological disorders, against increasing number of patients.
On the other hand, out of 125 posts in the district, there are 109 doctors are engaged in providing consultation to patients. This has sparked resentment among locals and intelligentsia.
People demand a super-specialty hospital and a medical college in the district for a long time. Keeping in mind the ever-increasing healthcare needs of people in Rayagada district, the state government had announced in 2014 to open a medical college with 500 beds on a public-private partnership (PPP) mode, sources said.
Worthy to note here that the demand of people was raised in Assembly by then health minister. It is known that, 25 acres has been demarcated for the purpose. However, this ambitious project has suffered from red-tape. In the meanwhile, Koraput MP Saptagiri Ulaka has met the Union minister of health and family welfare Harsha Vardhan and submitted a memorandum in this connection.
Notably, Rayagada Nagarika Mancha, a local outfit, has conducted public meetings, padyatras and staged dharnas for several times over past few months. Several institutions and local intelligentsias have also demanded a medical college in Rayagada district.