Bandipora: Wait of Bandipora residents for a district hospital has been prolonged as its completion is likely to take two more years. Work on the project was started in 2007 and even after nine years, it is yet to be completed. The project has missed many deadlines and if all goes well, the hospital may finally be ready in 2017. Slow pace of fund release is said to be the main cause of delay in its completion.
The hospital is to be completed at a budget of Rs 24 Crores. “However the funds are not released on time and each year only 1 or 2 crores are released causing a delay,” sources said. While talking to Kashmir Reader, CMO Bandipora said that if funds are released at current pace, then delay in completion of the project is inevitable.
Slow place of construction of the district hospital has put immense pressure on sub district hospital (SDH) Bandipora. According to the Medical Superintendent Dr. Bilques, “this SDH is not even worth calling a primary health center”
Various problems plaguing the hospital include staff crunch, shortage of doctors, lack of equipment and non- availability of emergency drugs. “With only 10 doctors -including two specialists-available, it is injustice with local population”, hospital staff admits. According to the insiders, SDH has no dedicated radiologists and ENT specialist. Non-availability of medicine is another problem faced by the patients. “Hospital is not even able to provide a tablet to its patients. Emergency medicines too are to be purchased from market,” says an insider.
The paramedical staff of the hospital has to face the anger of the agitated patients and their attendants, who are irked by the lack of facilities. Talking to Kashmir Reader, a nurse posted in the hospital said that they are following the orders from top. “We ask people to buy medicines and other equipment from market as not a single drug is available here,” she said.
The medical officer holds shortage of funds responsible for the short comings. “It is because of improper funding. We mostly depend on NRHM doctors for medicine and services to patients,” he claims.
Lack of proper health care system in SDH is risking patient lives. Referrals to Srinagar hospitals are full of danger owing to bad roads and long distance. According to the Medical Superintendent, the referral rate of patients to Srinagar from Gynecological department is 5-6 on normal days and shoots up when rush is high.
The patients and locals are also fuming over the unhygienic conditions of SDH. Complains of untidy bed sheets and blankets are common. Bathrooms too are in a very bad shape.
According to the district health officials, around Rs 10 crores are required for completion of district hospital, Bandipora. But according to CMO repeated pleas and letters shot to the higher authorities have borne no fruit.
Ironically latest report of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on National Health Mission has found 162.82 crore lying unspent which is 41% of the total expenditure of fiscal year 2015-16.