RAJBIRAJ, Jan 24: Topa Health Post is just five kilometers away from the district headquarters Rajbiraj of Saptari. Although the government has allotted quota of MBBS doctor for the health post, the quota is just limited to paper and the health post does not open regularly.
Safik Mansuri, member of the Health Post Management Committee, complained that getting appointment with the heath post chief Dr Jayanti Yadav is very difficult.
"It is meaningless to talk about other departments when the chief himself seems irresponsible," said Mansuri, adding, "The office often remains closed and junior officials are also not regular in duty."
Locals complain that the service seekers are often deprived of getting health service. "Firstly, they don't come to the health post and even when they come here, they come late and go early. We are compelled to purchase medicines from private clinics," said Ashok Kumar Yadav, a local of the district.
The status of public health offices in the district is not different from what the locals are facing in Topa. Deepak Mandal, senior assistant health worker at Chauki of Launiya VDC, informed that the health post was facing scarcity of medicines for long.
"We are the ones who have to often face the ire of service seekers. Since there is no medicines we are not in a position to serve patients," said Mandal.
He complained that the health post is running without antipyretic cetamol and oral rehydration solution-- jeevajal.
Sukharam Yadav, founding member of Civil Society Network, said health officials are irregular in most of the offices and they leave the office early. On top of that, the health posts have been facing acute shortage of medicines and human resources.
Several health institutions like health posts, primary health centers and birthing centers established in each Election Constituency Area have turned ineffective. In the absence of essential facilities in the government-run health institutions the locals have been forced to go to Rajbiraj, Biratnagar and Dharan to get basic health service.
Backed by political parties, most of the doctors and senior AHWs remain in the district headquarters. Badri Narayan Jha, a civil society leader, said locals in rural parts of the country are deprived of basic health services as doctors remain absent and the health institutions operate without medicines.
The district headquarters, Rajbiraj, itself is facing acute medicine shortage since the last three months. Officials of the District Public Health Office blamed the delay in procurement behind the medicine shortage.