Delayed diagnosis of diseases in rural areas worrying medics

Srinagar: With the health care system failing to cater to the needs of the patients at the peripheral level, medicos complain that early diagnosis of diseases is taking a hit in rural areas as no diagnostic facilities are being made available in rural areas.

“In 21st century, when the medical science has reached to its pinnacle in terms of facilities and technical advancements, peripheral healthcare in Kashmir is still lacking the diagnostic facilities such as Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and Echocardiogram, which is making it difficult for medics to come out with an early diagnosis of the disease,” said a snior official in the health department.

Official sources confirm that majority of healthcare facilities that are situated in the peripheries are lacking the facilities of MRI and Echocardiogram, which is making the job of medics tough.

With the absence of required diagnostic facilities—apart from failure of diagnosing the disease—it is also burdening the patients economically beyond their set limit.

The patients are forced to either go to Srinagar, or to visit any private diagnostic centre, where the costs are high for those living below poverty line, said a doctor wishing not to be named. 

“MRI is a fifty years-old technology and even after being such an old technology, with already enormous advancements incorporated in the technological marvel, it has still not reached to the state’s peripheral healthcare, which is catering to the needs of colossal population residing in several districts,” he said.

What is more pitiable is the lack of such facilities at district hospitals of Kashmir. The district hospitals are lacking CT Scan facilities let alone the availability of MRI and Echocardiogram.

“Basic diagnostic facilities are available at District Hospital, however, almost none is having the facility of MRI and Echocardiogram,” well informed sources said.

Amid all this, what can come as a sigh of relief, is the robust functioning of biochemistry labs in the peripheries, which are running on the concept of public private partnership—the concept, which as per experts, can help in minimizing the crisis that the  healthcare system is facing in other peripheral spheres.

The labs are working efficiently given the fact that they are running under public private partnership, where the private companies provide the machinery and in turn the hospital establishes those companies are sole providers of whatever chemicals they are in need of, sources informed, adding such an approach can also be brought into play in establishing other facilities.

President Doctors Association of Kashmir (DAK), Dr Suhail Naik also pitched for the same approach in tackling the absence of diagnostic facilities in peripheries.

“If the government is not capable of installing the required machinery in peripheries, they can consult the stake holders, those who are doing a good job in providing the machinery for biochemical tests,” he said.

“If such an arrangement is working in one sphere, why not to implement the same elsewhere,” he asked.




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