COVID-19 exposes Bihar’s creaking health infrastructure; Opposition alleges corruption

By: |
May 27, 2021 1:43 PM

Primary Health Centre in Madhubani's Sakri, Harushwar, Samastipur's Morwa and Banka's Babhangama have been found in a dilapidated condition.

Bihar COVID19The primary health centre in Samastipur's Morwa block is being used as a cattle shelter.

With the COVID-19 having made its way to the rural areas of Bihar, Opposition parties have alleged that the government’s figures do not account for the deaths in the state’s villages. While the official figures state that active cases in the state are 30992 and 4845 deaths, the opposition has claimed that many deaths in the rural area, mostly due to the absence of facilities, are not being accounted for. There are many districts where the government hospital doesn’t even have ICU beds. Now, a visit to several primary healthcare centres by ANI has exposed the shabby status of the health infra in the state. The images that came to the fore show that the healthcare centres made for rural population are either in shambles or being used as cattle shelter.

Primary Health Centre in Madhubani’s Sakri, Harushwar, Samastipur’s Morwa and Banka’s Babhangama have been found in a dilapidated condition. A local in Madhubani’s Sakri claimed that the primary healthcare centre only exists on paper. “Doctors, nurses and sanitation workers are also appointed to this facility but they’re not present here. They only come once a month,” he claimed.

The primary health centre in Samastipur’s Morwa block is being used as a cattle shelter while another Health Centre in the Chaklalshahi area has been found locked for many months.

“Doctors come once in a month for vaccination of children. There’s no medicine/injection for others,” said a local.

Another health sub-centre in Rasalpur of Samastipur district has been rented out for just Rs 1000 per month.

While the ruling BJP-JD(U) alliance is mum over the issue, residents continue to suffer in the absence of basic health care facilities. Former Chief Minister of the state, Lalu Prasad Yadav, whose party ruled for around 15 years till 2005, hit out at current CM Nitish Kumar (in power since 2005) saying that he should be given the Nobel prize for closing down hundreds of such centres.

Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav also hit out at the ruling alliance, whose Health Minister happens to be from the BJP, saying that thousands of crore rupees are being embezzled by running these centres on papers only. “Thousands of such health centres which are actually closed but are operational on paper have special blessings of CM Nitish Kumar and Health Minister Mangal Pandey. Imagine how many thousands of crores rupees are being embezzled every year on the pretext of running these centres,” he said in Hindi.

It may be noted that the state is under lockdown till June 1 and the vaccination has also been progressing at a slow pace. The state reported over 2600 cases on May 25.

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