Shambolic rural health system piles on Covid misery in Beed

Primary health centres and sub-centres in this rural Maharashtra district are non-functional and understaffed, forcing villagers to travel long distances for medical aid.

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A primary health centre is supposed to be the first place you turn to for medical assistance in rural India, and a health sub-centre is the bridge connecting a village to the PHC.

At Pahadi-Paragon village’s sub-centre in Maharashtra’s Beed district, an empty, worn-down room without medical staff to attend patients, is supposed to function as a Covid vaccination facility for a population of 1,800. The villagers say the nurse posted at the sub-centre doesn’t visit regularly. The last time she visited was when vaccination took place for about 40 people in the month of May.

So, whether it be a mild ailment or a medical emergency, the villagers have to hire private transport to reach the nearest hospital in Dharur taluka, 12 km away.

The nurse assigned to the sub-centre, however, claimed that she made regular visits to the sub-centre until she was called for duty at a Covid care facility in April.

The Pahadi-Paragon health sub-centre exemplifies the lack, inadequacy or inaccessibility of public healthcare that rural communities in Beed have had to grapple with even during the pandemic. It is a longstanding problem that has not been addressed despite repeated complaints to the local authorities and politicians.


Also see
Covid has pushed seasonal sugarcane cutters in Maharashtra’s Beed to the brink of poverty
Covid crash: Why rural Maharashtra's dairy farmers are out on the roads
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