Editorial: Claims apart, ground situation needs improvement

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, J P Nadda laid the foundation stone of a medical college in Ghat area of Doda District yesterday.

While addressing a gathering in Doda Nadda said the setting up of the five medical colleges and two AIIMS would add up 700 MBBS seats to Stateís kitty taking it to 1000, one among the highest in the country.

The Union Minister claimed taht healthcare in the State is getting a major push with the setting up of three Tertiary Cancer Centres at Kupwara, Kishtwar and Udhampur and two State Cancer Institute’s. With this, he said, the disease treatment and healthcare in the State in coming years would get a big boost in coming years. He pledged all support from his Ministry to the State Government in this regard.

The Union Ministers announcements and later some promises by the Chief Minister spelt a long list of achievements and claims vis-a-vis the healthcare sector. However, all said and done if one takes a cursory look at the ground level the situation is not so rosy as has been presented before the people and the authorities as well. 

Take for an example the case of district hospital in Pulwama. The Hospital is to have new 100 bedded Inpatient Department (IPD) Block. The block is under construction since 2012 and it is not clear how much more time the authorities will require to complete the block.

In the meanwhile space constraint has been adversely affecting the functioning of the hospital. It is becoming increasingly difficult for the hospital authorities to admit patients because there is no space to accommodate them.

Worse, during emergency cases, the authorities are forced to accommodate two and even three patients on one bed which is highly undesirable. There is great rush of patients and the District Hospital is unable to cope with the pressure.

The claim we are trying to make is that the building of the new block should be completed on war footing. Once the block is completed, the pressure on the District Hospital will decrease and in due course of time all necessary medical equipment will be provided.

We would, therefore, impress upon the Department of Health to persuade the executing agency to bring the construction of the new block to completion as early as possible. Construction work was started in the year 2012-13 and delay in funds hampered the progress in construction. 

Similarly, the situation in Sub District hospital in Bijbehara is no different. The hospital building has been declared unsafe two years back by the Roads and Buildings department. However, the hospital continues to operate from the same building putting hundreds of lives at stake.

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