KEONJHAR (TOI): Staff shortage and poor infrastructure in dispensaries have affected Ayurvedic services in Keonjhar district.
Sources said 20 of the 49 ayurvedic dispensaries in Keonjhar were functioning without doctors and quacks ruled the roost there. “Several doctors have opened their own clinics in Keonjhar town to make a quick buck. They draw a high salary from the government but fail to go to their designated dispensaries in the rural areas,” a source said.
Sources alleged that the government had not supplied medicines to ayurvedic dispensaries for the last two years. “The lack of medicines will prove to be the death knell for this age-old form of treatment. The ayurvedic medicines in the open market are costly and poor tribals cannot afford to buy them,” claimed Keonjhar-based educationist Ramesh Chandra Hota. “The government is spending lakhs of rupees on modern treatment, but it is doing little to revive ayurvedic healthcare,” he added.
Moreover, the district does not have a permanent inspector of ayurved. A senior doctor, who was appointed to run the Rathakana dispensary at Hatadihi block, is at present serving as the in-charge inspector.
Dr L N Satpathy, the in-charge inspector of ayurved, said: “Due to non supply, we cannot provide medicines to patients in the dispensary. Staff shortage has forced many dispensaries to depute doctors for day-to-day functioning.”
On other hand, the axe has fallen on a number of valuable medicinal plants and shrubs following mindless mining in the district. The ayurvedic practitioners are forced to collect medicinal plants from outside to prepare medicines.
“Earlier, medicinal plants were in gardens and forests in Keonjhar district. Now, hundreds of species have become extinct,” said Gurucharan Parida, a ayurvedic practitioner in Keonjhar. At present, the prepared medicines do not have the right amount of components due to non availability of medicinal herbs and shrubs. This is why the prescribed medicines these days often fail to the cure diseases properly. Similarly the cost of the medicines became high due to non availability of ingredients of the medicines at door steps. Hence faith on this system of treatment is gradually declining,” Parida added.