A lack of health facilities and doctors has forced residents of villages in Shikaripur to travel to the taluk headquarters.
Begur is one of the villages without a proper medical facility. Residents say ambulances arrive late, forcing people to borrow vehicles to take patients to hospital. Some women in labour gave birth in ambulances that could not make it in time.
“I have lived in this village for 41 years. No government has taken any initiative to build even a small clinic in the village. We have to visit the taluk general hospital,” said Moula Saab Saudagar, an ayurveda practitioner.
Moula Saab’s son Zakir M Saudagar informed The Observer: “We urged the previous government to construct a PHC or a hospital. Since nothing happened, people stopped complaining and found it easier to come to us.”
When a case is complicated or serious, Zakir refers it to the taluk government hospital, 15 km away. He has a collection of basic medicines that he hands out at his home clinic. Asked where he got his medical education, he replied, “a medical college in Gadag”.
Marwali and Mattigotey are other villages bereft of basic healthcare facilities
“Most villages have a PHC or a clinic run by a private doctor. Those that lack medical facilities come to the taluk hospital. We plan to reach out to these villages. If a village does not have a PHC, a doctor from the government hospital will visit it every week.” said Pandu S., a senior health officer in Shikaripur Taluk.
“When my pregnant daughter-in-law had to be taken to the hospital, we called an ambulance that took more than an hour to arrive. So we had to borrow a car and take her to the hospital. We were lucky to get the vehicle timely; otherwise, many a time the delivery takes place in the ambulance,” Mobina Bano, 65, a resident of Marwali village, shared.
Inadequate transport is another problem. The residents say just two buses ply between their villages and the taluk in a day.
Amid electioneering by bigwigs of different parties, nobody has visited the villages to even promise medical facilities. The residents seem to have learnt to live with the situation.