SRINAGAR: Notwithstanding tall claims of health department to provide best health care facility to public, district hospital Kupwara is functioning without enough doctors and other basic facilities. There is only one general physician and one gynecologist for this district hospital catering to entire Kupwara district.
Talking to Kashmir Reader, Block Medical Officer, Kupwara Dr. Fareed Khan said that the hospital is in a dilapidated condition and it was becoming difficult for the management to run it. “Without proper staff, we are not able to cope with the patient rush. We have over 1200 OPD’s daily,” Dr Khan said.
He adds that, “In the Out-Patient Departments (OPDs) of hospital, there are no specialized doctors available. As a result, patients coming from far flung areas don’t get proper treatment.”
Despite the huge flow of patients, only six wards in the hospital are functional while rest are either not usable or are locked. “Two patients on each bed is a routine here. Some patients can be seen even lying on the floor,” one of the attendants complained. They said that the OPD and causality departments don’t have a single bathroom. Patients said that they have to wait for hours to meet the doctor. Also lack of space adds to the mess. “Patients have to move to private clinics as there are not enough doctors available in the hospital. Everybody cannot afford to go to private clinics,” they said.
One of the doctors on duty told Kashmir Reader that the hospital doesn’t even have life saving drugs. “We don’t have facilities to treat heart attack or blood pressure patients. Patients have to buy medicines of own,” he said.
Lack of cleanliness is another problem faced by the hospital. Floors and corners of the hospital are dirty. Stray dogs roam freely in the hospital premises. “This hospital is in pathetic condition. It is for sure that people visiting this hospital fall sick because of infection,” Ab Ahad, a visitor said. Heaps of garbage and bio-medical waste lies unattended emanating stink, forcing patients to choke noses and hold breathe.
One of the senior doctors, on condition of anonymity claimed that though adequate funds are released for the overall development of this hospital, but the same are not utilized properly.
When contacted, the Chief Medical officer Kupwara, Dr G N lone admitted that they were short of doctors and other facilities, but turned down allegations of misuse of funds.
“Yes we lack staff and other facilities, but that is a problem with every hospital in Kashmir. There is proper vigil on hospital development funds and nobody can misuse it,” Dr Lone said.