Editorial: Prioritizing healthcare 

Srinagar: The hospitals in Srinagar City are failing to cater to the huge rush of patients that too coming from the peripheral and rural areas. The hospital authorities in Srinagar have been ruing the fact that the referral cases are increasing with every passing day and the City hospitals are in no way able to cater to the huge demands.

The inflow of patients to City hospitals here is an indication that all is not well with the health care facilities at the district level. The increased referral rate shows that the medics there feel that saving someone or attending to a seriously ill case may lead to increased mortality rate.

There is much abysmal deficiency for most of the basic requirements of life in our rural areas and health care is just one among them.

Among the various services, education and health care are perhaps the two most important areas and these have to be prioritized if the state wants to move a few notches ahead on the developmental map. Even though the policy planners are fully aware that the State of Jammu and Kashmir is mostly a hilly and kandi state with very weak economy.

This area is not attractive so that professionals like medicos would be willing to be posted there. Hence they try to avoid to be posted to far flung areas of the state. Even the nearby districts are a no-no for these specialists to get a posting.

This being one of the prime reasons that the condition of hospitals, dispensaries, medical care units in these areas is dismal. Health care area in these districts is so dismal that even the elected representatives of these areas have been expressing their helplessness in persuading authorities to provide the hospitals with minimum facilities and medical staff.

There are no Radiologist in various district hospitals, no surgeons to take on emergency cases and even no physicians to cater to the specialized healthcare needs of the patients.

Even a Sub District Hospital like that in Sopore has no facility of a blood bank which curtails the use of operation theater there jeopardizing the entire functioning of the hospital.

There are numerous case that can be counted and put forth for the officials of the health department. But all this will serve no purpose. The officials in the health department are in know of it but what prevents them from taking up any good work that will ultimately  serve the common masses.

Even the various schemes and facilities being provided by the Union Ministries and some donors at the international level are more than willing to provide the stat of the art facilities in the healthcare sector, but all this needs will to act.

The top bosses in the health department have been acting so callously that the hospitals in the City areas are marred by various issues like the availability of drugs and other items needed on day to day basis. 

What is needed is the approach by these senior officers to take up issues on priority and get them working on ground. The districts need a special attention only then will the infrastructure be put to use at the district level, which will ultimately benefit the city hospitals in the long run.



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