By Raashid Hassan
Shopian: The lack of basic medical facilities at the Shopian District Hospital has made life difficult for patients in and around the hilly district.
Chief Medical Officer Shopian Dr Bashir Ahmed admitted that the hospital lacks infrastructure required for a district level health facility. He said the available infrastructure is fit to run a community health centre.
“There are only four specialised doctors in this hospital against a requirement of 21 to 30 doctors. We do not have ENT specialists, orthopedics, radiologists, dermatologists, pediatricians, ophthalmologist or machinery including CT-scan and MRI,” Ahmed said.
A doctor who wished not to be named said that the hospital is lacking even the basic requirements for effective healthcare. “We have made several representations to the higher authorities on account of developing the hospital infrastructure including the equipments, machinery, specialised doctors besides completion of construction works. There is no response from the higher-ups,” he said.
Suhail Ahmed, a local resident whose grandfather is admitted in the hospital since Wednesday said the patiuents are left at the mercy of God and circumstances during night hours. “My grandfather’s condition worsened during the night when he started complaining about writhing pain buit there was no doctor available to attend to him,” he said.
Javed Ahmed, another local resident said the infirm people are constrained to go to private clinics as the government-run hospital does not have enough doctors. “The lack of modern machinery forces us (patients) to take tests at private laboratories and even there, most of these facilities are not available,” Parvaiz Maqbool, another resident told Kashmir Reader.
The construction of 100-bedded district hospital of Shopian started in 2010 by the Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation (JKPCC). It has violated three deadlines of completion since. JKPCC’s executive engineer, Muhammad Hussain, blamed the government for the delay.
“The government has so far released only Rs 10. 85 crore of the total project cost estimated at Rs 23.65 crore. Rs 5 crore was released till March 2015, and after our repeated demonstrations, Rs 5 crore more were released in the past year,” said Muhammad Hussain.
Local ruling party legislator Muhammad Yousuf Bhat said the news hospital will be functional by March-April 2017.
“I am in contact with department of health services Kashmir and the concerned ministry,” Bhat told Kashmir Reader.