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29 Apr 2017

Jharkhand: Electricity shortage forces doctors to work under phone light

The Balumath community health centre in Jharkhand's Latehar district has been reeling under poor electricity supply, forcing doctors to look at patients and at times even operate on them under phone flashlights.

The incident came to light when rescuers admitted 2 accident victims to the hospital.

They were shocked to find no electricity and a massive shortage of staff.

In context

Doctors work under flashlights in Jharkhand

Doctors say generators need repair

Dr Purushottam, who was attending patients in the night, said "The electric supply line has some faults and the generator needs repair. We have no other option but to somehow attend to the patients."

Conditions in the hospital


Conditions in the hospital

Reportedly the hospital has only 4 doctors against a sanctioned strength of 7.

There is also no dedicated building for the hospital. Staff said that it is currently being run out of a temporary shelter.

Despite there being generators present, funds have not been coming in for their maintenance and upkeep.

It is meant to serve a population of 89,012.

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Is the medical officer in-charge to blame?

Several of the hospital staff, who requested anonymity blamed the hospital's medical-officer in-charge for the squalid conditions.

They said he "does not pay heed to the problems plaguing the hospital as he is missing from duty most of the time. It is his duty to get things repaired."

He reportedly doesn't even live in Balumath and only comes in for a few morning hours.

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