No New Hospital In 15 Years, Jharkhand’s Healthcare Begs For An Upgrade

A patient eats food served on the floor at the Ranchi Institute of Medical Sciences in Jharkhand.

Ranchi: The haunting visual of a patient eating straight from the floor of a hospital ward in Jharkhand capital Ranchi has once again brought to the fore the abysmal state of healthcare in the state.

The Rajendra Institute of Medical Science, where the incident took place, also witnessed a staff member throwing milk in the face of a patient while serving a meal last week.

Not just this, 10 days ago, a woman had to deliver baby by the roadside in Jharkhand’s Latehar district.

Despite three prominent medical college and hospitals in Jharkhand – Rajendra Institute of Medical Science in Ranchi, MGM Medical College and Hospital in Jamshedpur and Pataliputra Medical College and Hospital in Dhanbad, only Rajendra Institute of Medical Science caters to critical patients.

While the population in Jharkhand has surged by over five million between 2001 and 2011, not even a single new hospital has been opened since the creation of the state in 2000.

What also comes as a shocker is that a building of a 500-bed hospital in Ranchi was completed five years ago, but the government has not kick-started any medial services there.

State of Medical Education

In last 15 years, not even a single medical college has opened in Jharkhand and no seats have been added to the existing colleges since long.

The older colleges lack infrastructure and the standard of existing infrastructure in these colleges begs for updation and upkeep.

In 2014, the Medical Council of India reduced the number of seats in the state from 300 to 190. The state also has 200 seats in dental colleges.

Acute Shortage Of Doctors

There are 1,800 doctors against the required strength of 5,000 in the state.

The state government is also running 10 Auxiliary Nurse Midwife and three General Nursing and Midwifery schools.

Earlier, the state had 60 seats each, but the Indian Nursing Council, citing lack of faculty, reduced the number of seats.

New Medical Colleges Only In Announcements

Several announcements have been made on the opening of eight medical colleges, including three by the government. Land for these has been identified at Dumka, Palamu and Hazaribagh, but no work has commenced in any of these.

“Jharkhand government is fooling the people of the state by talking about its efforts to attract investors. The state still lacks basic facilities in the education, health and power sectors. There is dearth of ambulances, doctors, nurses and pathology facilities in the state,” Congress spokesperson Kishore Sahdeo said.

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