Seated in a tiny room, the medical officer, who happens to be the lone doctor at the Civil Dispensary, Hallo Majra, caters to the healthcare needs of thousands.
Outside, squatting on the floor, standing in the scorching sun or just roaming around in the dispensary parking lot, nearly 80 patients wait for their turn without a word of complaint. The doctor is examining each one of them and prescribing requisite medicine or tests – that is a blessing they are meant to be thankful for, most say. They express ignorance about any shortage of medicines, staff or lack of infrastructure. However, they concede the dispensary lacks adequate space.
The dispensary, housed in three rooms, is facing an acute shortage of space for years. There is lack of proper seating arrangements for patients and their attendants. In the absence of a sweeper, the staff directs the patients to remove their shoes outside.
The dispensary needs a couple of more staff members to deal with the rush. On an average day, the OPD witnesses 75-100 patients. And on days the doctor is not available, patients are asked to continue with the medicines prescribed earlier or come back on a later date.
Medical officer Dr Nisha said the dispensary lacks adequate space. “Patients face inconvenience, especially in summer months and during rains, due to lack of ample space inside,” she said, adding that the dispensary building has been renovated recently and she was hopeful the authorities would work out an expansion plan to resolve the space issue.
Meanwhile, when contacted, Director, Health Services, UT, Dr Rakesh Kashyap, said the dispensary was under the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh.