Hospital staff in Odisha capital render biometric machines defunct !

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 28:

Trust ingenious Odisha government employees to beat any system put in place to ensure a modicum of accountability, even if they happen to be engaged in an essential service like health care. Needless to say those based in the capital city are more innovative than their counterparts elsewhere.

biometric machine

It can hardly be a coincidence that five out of seven biometric machines installed in the Capital Hospital, the premier government hospital in Bhubaneswar, to register regular attendance and timely arrival of employees have stopped working since past 5-6 months. No wonder fingers are being pointed at employees of the hospital for having ‘engineered’ the machines dysfunctional.

While the connecting cables are missing in some, the machines themselves are gone leaving behind empty cabinets in others!

Over 300 people, including doctors, second and third graded employees, work in this premier hospital run by the Odisha Government. However, their punctuality has always been a concern for the patients.

To address this issue, the National Health Mission had installed these seven machines in 20111 to record the attendance of employees. But the move clearly didn’t go well with the employees because it made abstaining fom duty or coming late to work, something they had come to take as their birthright, difficult.

As it usually happens with almost all government property in Odisha, the machines started failing one after another over the next few months. And now, only two of them are working, allowing employees to report for work at their own convenience.

Hospital authorities, however, could not care less about this wanton defiance.  All they have done is to write a letter to the machine providing agency to replace the machines and sit back. The agency also doesn’t seem keen to replace the machines given its non compliance to the only letter hospital authorities have sent.

“The biometric machines don’t work because they were of lower quality. We now have only 2-3 machines that work and we have instructed the agency to repalce the machines. They will start working soon,” said Director of the Hospital Biswa Bhusan Patnaik trying hard to defend the authorities.

The question here is: a lower quality machine might stop working, but can it go missing, leaving behind an empty cabinet? Also, even as the issue has persisted for the past 5-6 months, the director neither knows how many machines work in the hospital nor has he done anything apart from sending a letter to replace the machine.

The Hospital is gaining notoriety due to its poor services and lack of care to maintain its infrastructure as we have reported earlier:, and many more such stories

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