SANGUEM: People visiting the Sanguem Primary Health Centre (PHC), the lone government healthcare facility in the entire Sanguem taluka, would be well advised to carry mobile phones and it has nothing to do with making calls.
The flashlight on phones is most likely to be used during the treatment of patients in case of a power outage, which has become a common situation.
And this is exactly what happened on Thursday evening, when hospital staff were seen treating an accident victim with the help of a mobile flash light as there was a sudden power failure in the locality.
Believe it or not, the Sanguem PHC has been forced to function without a power generator for a number of months.
According to sources in the PHC, the earlier power generator at the Sanguem PHC got burnt some months ago.
“PHC officials had petitioned their superiors for an immediate replacement on a number of occasions, but a new generator is yet to be sent to the PHC. On two occasions, tenders were floated for a new generator, but there were no takers. As a result, the PHC has been compelled to function without power backup and this has made the situation rather precarious at the Sanguem PHC during a power outage,” said a source.
The PHC is presently being run on emergency lamps and mobile phone flash lights during power failures.
“This has exerted added pressure on the PHC staff when patients are at the health centre for emergencies and there is a power outage,” the source said.
While the government is in the process of constructing a new building at Sanguem to house the existing PHC, many have been left wondering whether the new structure will be of any use when authorities have been struggling to provide minimal facilities at the PHC.
X-ray machine is useless
Incidentally, the Sanguem PHC has been equipped with a sophisticated X-Ray machine and a dedicated radiologist visits the health centre thrice a week.
However, the X-Ray machine is virtually useless and non-operational due to frequent power cuts and erratic power voltage.
“The X-Ray machine is a mere show piece at the Sanguem PHC and cannot be put to its optimal use. Patients visiting the Sanguem PHC for X-Ray facilities are referred either to the Upgraded Health Centre at Curchorem or the District Hospital at Margao,” said the source.
No Proper Ambulance
To make matters worse, the Sanguem PHC is officially equipped with three ambulances but it does not have even one fully-equipped ambulance at its disposal at present, making it difficult to transport patients to and from the PHC.
“Since the last few days, the ambulance attached to the PHC has been sent on duty for the National Games. The other ambulance deputed at Sanguem PHC has been sent for repairs. The third ambulance, which is the only available ambulance at the health centre, does not have any basic medical facilities,” said the source at the PHC.