No deliveries for want of power!
No Deliveries For Want Of Power! Salma, who lives in Kacheguda, was experiencing labour pain last week.
This PHC is non-functional as power supply is cut off for non-payment of bills
Pregnant women hailing from lower strata of society put through ordeal
Salma, who lives in Kacheguda, was experiencing labour pain last week. Her family immediately rushed her to a Primary Health Centre (PHC) in Koti. But her family was in for a rude shock as the nurse at the hospital asked her to rush her to another hospital. The reason given gave a jolt to the family. The hospital is in limbo for the past four months as the centre has not paid its electricity bill.
The PHC is a six-bed hospital meant to serve pregnant women and new mothers, especially hailing from economically weaker sections of the society. However, the state of affairs at the centre since February this year has been appalling. With no electricity, the labour room is dark, dingy and lies abandoned. Most of the equipment lie covered under a wreath of dust. There is an eerie silence at the maternity ward as all the hospital beds remain empty.
The staff claims there has been electricity charges were not paid for the last four months as the centre owes an electricity bill of Rs 72,000. The Discom officials said that several notices and reminders were served over the past one year, but the centre paid no heed to it. As a result, the electricity department snapped the power supply.
The centre is supposed to cater to a population of 70,000 people and the situation remains grim each day. No doctor has been posted at the hospital since February this year and auxiliary nurses and midwives (ANM) have been running the show.
Manga, who works here as an ANM, says they were forced to stop deliveries and other services. Emergency cases have been routed to other centres as there is no provision for sterilisation. The hospital only runs basic services.
"From February 24, we have had no electricity. It's very difficult for the patients and also for immunisation. No delivery is possible. We have to send patients eventhough they can't afford it. For immunisation, we fetch ice-boxes from nearby centres, paying the autorickshaw fare from our pockets,'' Manga said.
Another patient Lakshmi, who came to collect iron tablets, says she is seven months pregnant and had hoped to deliver her baby here.
"I had my first two children here. This is my third. Because there is no electricity, they are saying I cannot deliver the baby here," she said.
Pushpa, a nurse at the centre, recalls that this used to be a buzzing hospital.
“Family planning operations and camps that were held here earlier have also stopped,” she said.
Responding to the abysmal state of affairs, senior medical officers said the hospital was neglected by the government due to political instability in the city in the last few months as people waited for the creation of the new Telangana state.
"Now, hopefully, the new government will address these issues at the earliest. The Telangana government’s promise to provide free healthcare also looks promising,'' said an official who did not want to be named.