JAMMU: Member Legislative Council of Peoples Democratic Party Firdous Tak Thursday expressed serious concern over the shortage of doctors and paramedics in three mountainous districts of Kishtwar, Doda and Ramban, where people continue to lose their lives in absence of medicare facilities.
Speaking during the question House in the Legislative Council the member said that government can not escape from its liability just by admitting that there is shortage of medicos and adequate measures need to be taken at the earliest to save precious lives.
Tak was responding after Minister for Health and Medical Education Choudhary Lal Singh, in reply to a written question, admitted that the various districts of Jammu region, especially Kishtwar, was facing shortage of doctors and paramedical staff. The minister said that there are 82 health institutions functional in the district and efforts are being made to fill up the vacancies. “Yes there is shortage of doctors and paramedics in far flung areas of Marwah, Warwan, Dachan and Paddar tehsils. I have been to all these areas as I have been Member Parliament from the constituency. The situation is grave and we are facing shortage of 700 doctors in the entire state”, the minister informed.
Responding to this, Firdous Tak, said that the reply submitted by the government reveals that there was shortage of around 60 per cent of the doctors in the mountainous district. “The government claimed to utilize the services of staff under NRHM to meet the deficiency. The fact is that NRHM has to supplement the existing infrastructure but the entire system has collapsed and it was the duty of government to take immediate measures”, he said.
The MLC said that for 30000 population of Marwah and Warwan there are only few para-medics and ISM doctors. “This is unfortunate that even in the present day world pregnancy is considered to be curse in such areas. When any woman conceive a child in these areas it is believed that she may not come out of it alive because still the old and traditional system of delivery is in practice”, he said.
In reply to a question the minister said that the doctors under ISM get adequate training during internship but there was no policy with the government to specifically train such doctors to handle gynecology cases.
The House was informed that Chief Medical Office Kishtwar has total 13 sanctioned post out of which 8 were lying vacant, DyCMO Office has just two officials out of 10 sanctioned posts, District Tuberculosis Office has 13 vacancies out of total 28 posts, District Hospital Kishtwar has around 26 vacancies. The situation, as per the reply, is grim in Marwah, Warwan and Dachan tehsils as almost all the posts of Medical Officers in CHCs, PHCs and other health institutions remained vacant.
Concluding his reply, the minister for health assured that the government was already on job to address the crucial issue. “I assure you from the floor of the House that we will not allow the influential doctors to manage their postings in Jammu and Srinagar cities. The doctors, including specialists, will have to serve in the rural areas and every possible step in this direction would be taken at the earliest”, he said.