Walk into the Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Begur in Bommanahalli Assembly constituency and it emerges how ill-maintained it is. From huge cracks in the building to ill-equipped wards, negligent doctors to red tape, the problems are plenty.
While the building is unfit for occupation, the staff at the health centre are highly lax. Patients have to bribe the staff even for the substandard facilities available at the centre. A woman who had come to the PHC to get her reports said that she had to wait for nearly two hours to meet the doctor. “There is nobody to guide patients coming here for the first time. Why have a reception desk when there is no receptionist,” she asked.
A male patient has been admitted to the labour ward. When asked, he said doctors admitted him there on a temporary basis as there were no vacant beds in other wards. Some patients even confessed to bribing the staff. Nayaz, a patient’s relative, said that he paid Rs 3,000 to a group ‘D’ staffer for admission to the maternity ward. “We came a little late to the hospital and the group ‘D’ staffer said that they will admit the patient only if we pay up. We were also warned not to disclose this to officials of the health department or the media,” he said.
A part of the building is unfit for occupation as the walls have developed cracks. “We have informed the officials concerned. This has been the case for over a year now. They have said that funds will be released soon for the repair,” said a staff member.
Funds soon: Official
Dr M Rajini, district health officer, Bengaluru Urban, said that the government was aware that the building was in a dilapidated condition. “The problem will be addressed using funds under the National Urban Health Mission,” she promised.
To check corruption, she continued, people have to come forward and make complaints or else nothing can be done. While some do not report it out of fear, a few others compare it to the charges at private hospitals, she added.