ANANTNAG: A hospital at tehsil level is supposed to function round the clock providing all the basic healthcare facilities but Primary Health Centre (PHC) in Srigufwara functions more like a dispensary.
Set up in 1978 in medical block Sallar, the hospital is not only devoid of basic health infrastructure but is also facing an acute shortage of staff.
Locals said that they don’t think of going to the hospital even in case of minor ailments.
“Despite being located at Tehsil headquarter and catering to the population of nearly a dozen villages, the hospital remains an epitome of messy healthcare. Due to the non-availability of the USG facility patients avoid visiting the hospital and prefer PHC Mattan or Sub District Hospital Bijbehara ,” said a resident, Ghulam Rasool.
“The infrastructure of the hospital is much worse than a dispensary. When people fall ill, they don’t go there as they know going there will only lead to delay in proper treatment,” he said.
Though a laboratory technician is posted in the hospital but the laboratory, according to residents, is so ill equipped that only simple urine and blood tests are done there.
X-ray machine is gathering dust from last seven months for want of an operator.
“The X-ray technician posted in the hospital went on a maternity leave some seven months ago and since then the machine is gathering dust. Patients simply are being asked to get the X-ray done outside,” said another local, Arif Ahmad.
He said that the authorities during the last seven months did not bother to arrange an alternate X-ray technician.
Locals complained that even when the technician is available in the hospital, the X-ray is being done only when the power supply is on.
“The X-ray machine of the hospital completely relies on the scheduled power supply. When there is no electricity you are clearly being asked to wait till the electricity comes or come next day,” a local youth, John Mohammad said.
“One wonders how can a patient, in need of immediate treatment, wait for the power supply,” he said.
An official posted in the hospital said that a high capacity power generator was available in the hospital but they don’t use it owing to fuel deficiency.
“We many a time requested the authorities to provide fuel for the generator but they never respond to our repeated pleas,” he said.
Even the ECG machine, provided to the hospital by a local MLC a month ago, does not serve any purpose as that too relies on the electricity.
Residents said that the three doctors including a lady doctor posted in the hospital work in shifts.
“Only one doctor remains available in the hospital during the day time. The irony is that not even a single delivery has been conducted in the hospital so far,” locals said.
Chief Medical Officer, Anantnag, Dr Fazil Ali Kochak admitted that the healthcare in the hospital was not as per standards.
“Srigufwara is an important station and healthcare at the PHC there should have been better. I will personally visit the hospital and will try to address all the problems,” the CMO said.