Ailing health sector : Three inaugurations fail to augment status of health centre

Despite being inaugurated thrice, the Public Health Centre (PHC), Chanapora, which was meant to function as a Sub District Hospital, is still waiting for formal orders from the government for its up gradation to an SDH.

The multi storey building constructed by Jammu and Kashmir Housing Board with the whooping cost of 20.32 crore, is still not put to use as the government is turning a deaf to the issues and failing to provide the basic requirement of equipments and staff to the hospital.

It took four long years to construct the building with the sole aim to upgrade it to the SDH level. The newly constructed building was partially handed over a year ago, to yet again operate as the health centre, raising eye brows over the expenditure that, as of now, has bore no fruits. 

Currently, only the ground floor is functioning and rest of the three floors are of no use. “The government constructed this huge building, and we were expecting that it would be upgraded to SDH, as there was a need to cater to the flow of patients,” said Muhammad Latief, a local resident, “even after spending huge money, we have been provided with the same PHC with no up gradation,” he added.

As of now, the hospital opens at 10 in the morning and closes at around 4 in the evening, forcing patients, in case of emergency, to avail the facilities at SHMS, JVC or SKIMS, adding to the already high patient rush to these hospitals.

“There is a need of upgrade this hospital to the SDH level, as it can cater to the large area, and can eventually lower down the referral rate to the other hospitals,” said Medical Officer, PHC Chanapora Dr Muneeb-ur-Rehman.

Even functioning as a PHC, the hospital is facing scarcity of specialist doctors such as Orthopedician and Ophthalmologist, “there is a general physician and some lady gynaecologist on duty in the hospital, rest there is no one available around,” said a local.

The hospital is facing a huge rush of patients from different adjoining areas, and with limited presence of doctors the hospital is hardly managing to get the things working.

As per the official figures, initially the hospital used to the cater to the needs of almost 1000-1500 patients per month, but now after the construction of new building, the patient influx has increased manifold, with over 5000 patients visiting the hospital for treatment per month, however, the staff strength remains the same.

The figures, thus point at the need of immediate up gradation of the hospital to SDH level. The condition of road from Chanapora to Jehangir chowk also suggests that in case of emergency, the patients face tough time while being referred to different hospitals.

“We have got SDH Chadoora on one end and the Multi Speciality, Florence Hospital at the other. It is not possible to refer the patient, in case of emergency, to Chadoora and a commoner cannot even think of taking the patient to the nearby Florence Hospital,” said Waseem Ahmad, who lives in the vicinity of the hospital.

When this reporter contacted Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Srinagar, Dr. Dildar Ahmad Mir, and brought the matter into his notice, he said that the department has already written to the government to upgrade the hospital to SDH, however there has been no response, so far from the government.

“I am fully aware of the fact that the hospital is in dire need of up gradation, we have sent a proposal to the government—more than a year has passed, but there has been no action till date,” he said.

The government is turning a deaf ear to the problem, in spite of being aware of the issue, and is deliberately delaying the process due to the reasons best known to them, sources said.


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