ANANTNAG: Thirteen years after Anantnag Maternity and Child Care Hospital (MCH) was separated from the district hospital and set up in a congested locality, there has been no improvement either in its infrastructure or the staff strength.
The hospital continues to operate in the same space giving tough time not only to the patients but doctors and para-medics as well.
“The detachment of the maternity wing from the hospital was aimed to make it a full-fledged hospital. But thirteen years have passed, the infrastructure of the hospital continues to be the same as it was at the time of detachment,” said an official of the health department.
The hospital caters to the patients from all the four districts of south Kashmir i.e Anatnag, Shopian, Kulgam and Pulwama.
The building housing the hospital has been declared unsafe by the fire and emergency authorities. They have strongly recommended the shifting of the building to some safe and spacious place or construction of new building block for the same.
Although the hospital was shifted to the old district hospital building few months back on the persistent demand of locals, it was surprisingly shifted back overnight allegedly on the directions of some local politicians.
Doctors and para-medical staff posted in the hospital blame the successive regimes for failing to raise proper infrastructure for the hospital.
“The hospital is more overcrowded than Lalded hospital and Children’s hospital Srinagar. The district hospitals particularly Kulgam, despite having all the facilities available for facilitating deliveries, refer 70 percent of their patients to this hospital. The authorities are never bothered to improve the health care facilities here,” said a doctor posted in the hospital.
He said that four to five hundred patients visit the OPDs of maternity and pediatric sections daily but the staff strength remains same as it was 13 years ago.
“Most of the para-medics are on deployment basis here. No new posts were created for the hospital. The irony is that the hospital does not have any radiologist,” said a para-medic.
A top official of the health department acknowledged that the space crunch in the hospital was due to the poor infrastructure of the hospital. “For raising the infrastructure you need to have proper accommodation first. Keeping in view patient influx, it should have more than 200 beds only in maternity section. So how can you imagine improvement in the healthcare at a place where even the corridor outside the operation theater and patient wards are occupied with beds,” the official said.
He said that the shifting of the hospital from the congested, Sherbagh locality was the only option with the government.
“If authorities really believe in providing best health care to the people, they must shift the hospital without any more delay and should not support a handful of traders, who for their monetary benefits, oppose the shifting of the hospital,” the official said.