Medicos belie NHM report on ‘improved’ healthcare facilities

Srinagar: Medicos in Kashmir have strongly objected to the report of the National Health Mission (NHM) which has claimed a considerable improvement in the peripheral healthcare in the Valley.

NHM in its report has said that there is ‘adequate’ number of health facilities in the state, with considerable addition to the health infrastructure under NRHM.

Importantly, the report published by NHM states that 9 District Hospitals, 303 Public Health Centres and 386 Sub centres have been added to the health infrastructure in the state.

However, the doctors who are working in the peripheral health care say that there may be an addition to the healthcare infrastructure, however, it is entirely centralized, which is making it no good at all.

 “There may be an addition of infrastructure, but with the absence of healthcare policy in the state, the infrastructure of no use,” said Dr Mir Mushtaq, member of Jammu and Kashmir Doctor’s Coordination Committee, JKDCC, an amalgamation of several doctors’ associations.

The additional infrastructure that is created is not minimizing the referral rate of patients to the tertiary health care, with the result there has been additional pressure to the system, he said.

“If we see, there has been an increase in the referral rate from last few years, if there is an additional infrastructure added, why is there an increase in the referral rate,” asks Dr Mir Mushtaq, adding “it clearly states that something is not going well.”

The doctor’s body has been demanding decentralization of health care system in the state, which includes the pooling of specialist doctors at Sub District Hospitals and other health care centres in the peripheries.

“Instead of looking for infrastructure, if there would have been a focus of pooling the man power, that would have made a difference,” he said.

With much hype created under NRHM, the report admits that free diagnostic scheme has yet not been implemented in the State, and “Diagnostics services are provided at subsidized rates,” it said.

The report also admits that there is not uniformity of charges for diagnostic services in the peripheries, and charges vary from place to place.

“The user charges for diagnostic services vary from facility to facility. There is no fixed norm across both the districts,” the report said.

It also states that Diagnostics services for haematology, CT scan and USG were available at all the facilities, which is quite opposite to the ground situation. The CT scan facility is missing in number of hospitals including SDH Pulwama, Budgam and Kupwara.

The report that has been submitted is based on the visit of the central team to twin districts of the state: Anantnag and Ramban, and interestingly has concluded that as per the population norms, overall there is adequate number of health facilities in Jammu and Kashmir.

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