Patna: Once feared as "death trap" because of their unhygienic conditions and poor service, the new-look government hospitals in Bihar have seen over 100 per cent jump in footfalls.
People's reposing faith in the government medical institutions could be gauged from the fact that while in 2006 only 39 patients used to visit primary health centres (PHC) per month, it has shot to 3,500 to 5,000 patients per month in the last three years since 2008, a government report said.
In 2010-11, more than four crore people got treatment in government hospitals while in 2011-12 till December 2011 around 4.86 crore were treated, it added.
In 2007-08, only 7.98 lakh patients got themselves admitted for treatment in the hospitals which rose to 24 lakh patients in 2010-11 and 31.2 lakh in 2011-12 till December last year.
PHCs have been established in all 534 blocks of the state. In 480 PHCs, health services are available 24x7, the report said.
"The Nitish Kumar government is giving top priority to health... We want to make health structure of Bihar far better than any other state," Health Minister Ashwani Choubey said.
The claim of better hospitals could be verified by a visit to PHCs. At a PHC at Sabour in Bhagalpur, policemen were seen battling hard to control visitors, mostly women, for free medicine and check-ups particularly related to delivery.
The century-old PHC which caters to the need of nearby 110 villages in an area of 144 km, is receiving over 500 patients daily, officials said.
"Due to improved service delivery at PMCH and other government hospitals, peoples dependence on private nursing homes and doctors have come down now," said SN Mishra, head
of Cardiology department at Patna Medical College and Hospital.
He said against 50-60 patients daily, they are now receiving over 300 people.