Changlang dist hospital in dire need of doctors

[ Junroi Mamai ]

ITANAGAR, May 4: A video was recently circulating on some social networking sites, in which a man is heard accusing the authorities of the district hospital in Changlang of apathetic attitude as the dead body of his brother lay on the back of a pickup truck in the pouring rain.
In the video, the decea-sed’s brother can be heard saying that when the family and relatives of the dece-ased arrived with the body at the district hospital, no emergency doctor or staf-fer was there to receive it.
The deceased, identified as Yongsam Tangha, a policeman, had gone missing from his home on 23 March. Tangha had drowned in the Tirap river, and his body was later found on 27 March.
On being asked, the Changlang police station’s officer in charge (OC) informed on Friday that postmortem has been conducted and the report does not mention any sign of foul play.
“The man had drowned. There was no foul play involved,” the OC said.
The unfortunate incident has, however, brought to light the poor health facility available in the Changlang district hospital, which is struggling with severe shortage of doctors and paramedical staff.
Reportedly, there is only one surgeon, and a handful of doctors are engaged in attending to the patients. Most of them are overworked. Also, there is not a single medicine specialist in the hospital.
The Arunachal Times tried to reach District Medical Officer Dr Karrik Basar for comments, but the officer did not respond to phone calls or text messages.
This daily also reached out to the Changlang deputy commissioner, who informed that the district hospital is in urgent need of adequate doctors and paramedical staff.
“Shortage of specialist doctors and paramedical staff is indeed a very distressing issue. Last year, about six newly-recruited doctors were posted against the district hospital, but they are yet to join their duties,” the DC said.
The hospital has been facing shortage of doctors and staff for many years. Due to the poor healthcare facilities, the deprived locals are compelled to seek medical help from private hospitals in Margherita, Dibrugarh or Digboi in neighbouring Assam.
“Poor villagers have to go to Assam for treatment of even minor ailments since the district hospital does not have adequate doctors.
Treatment is expensive at private hospitals, but we have no choice,” said a local resident.
Last year, the lone specialist doctor was transferred from the district, and no one has joined in his place.
“No doctor wants to stay here. There are many doctors who, despite being transferred to Changlang, avoid coming here, while some challenge their transfer orders at the court. They do not want to come here at all,” said another resident.