Despite more than 77 government-run veterinary establishments, including hospitals, dispensaries and polyclinics, in the capital, an audit revealed that not a single one has an inpatient department (IPD), where animals may be admitted for treatment. The audit report, conducted by volunteers part of the Ahimsa Fellowship (supported annually by a group of animal welfare NGOs), also found that some facilities lacked basic medicines and medical supplies.
“Delhi has 49 veterinary hospitals, 26 veterinary dispensaries, a first aid center and a veterinary polyclinic. Many of these institutions turned out to be in poor condition, with dilapidated infrastructure, insufficient staff and a severe shortage of equipment and consumables. Of the 77 facilities, four hospitals and six dispensaries were found to be disused,” the report said. The report classified facilities as obsolete if they were completely closed or had no veterinary staff.
The audit also revealed that most facilities were only open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for outpatient services (OPD), with qualified veterinary staff lacking in some facilities. “Instead of trained professionals, sometimes treatment was administered by unlicensed para-vets and multi-tasking personnel (MTS), including sanitation workers,” the report said.
A senior Livestock Department official, when contacted, said: “We already know which facility needs an infrastructure upgrade, which needs more equipment and which is understaffed. While some policies are already being implemented, others are likely to come into action soon.