Pharmacist Serves As ‘Reluctant’ Doctor In Odisha’s Jajpur PHC

Jajpur: With more than half of sanctioned doctor posts lying vacant in the district, the paramedical staff are now serving as consultants for medical needs of the patients in desperate situation.


The case in point is Uttangara Primary Health Centre (PHC) in Binjharpur block. No doctor has been appointed in the PHC for the last 5 years. As a result, the patients have been depending on pharmacist Smruti Ranjan Behera for treatment in the health centre.

But Behera, who was appointed in the PHC 10 years back, says he is doing it reluctantly as he knows his duty and responsibility. In fact, he has appealed to the district administration and the Chief Minister to appoint a doctor at the facility several times.

He claims to have also taken to Twitter to highlight the problems faced by the patients and draw the attention of the authorities concerned. But his pleas have failed to elicit any response.

Besides doing the normal duty as a pharmacist and forced job of a doctor, Behera also carries out the works of sweeper, attendant and ANM as per the needs of the centre. “I arrive at the facility at 8 am and leave at 1 pm after closing all rooms and gate of the PHC,” TNIE quoted Behera as saying.

An Ayush doctor (homeopath), who visits the health centre twice a week, can hardly meet the patients’ needs.

According to sources, around 50,000 people of five panchayats in the block are deprived of health facilities.

The district has 268 sanctioned doctor posts of which 146 are lying vacant. With 20 doctors engaged in training, 104 doctors are now serving in the district, said Jajpur CDMO Sudhanshu Sekhar Bal.


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