Delivering in impossibilities: 52 Consultant Gynaecologists catering to 5657449 souls

Srinagar: The manpower to handle the maternity care in the peripheries is once again painting a shocking picture. Data available reveals that only 52 Consultant Gynaecologists are available in the entire Kashmir division, who have been left to cater to the needs of around 5657449 souls, excluding district Srinagar.

As per sources, there is a total number of 77 sanctioned posts for Consultant Gynaecologists in Kashmir Division, in which only 52 are currently in position and 25 posts are still lying vacant.

The number of sanctioned posts stand nowhere in comparison when it comes to the work done by the available Gynaecologists in the peripheries, which seems, extraordinary, as per the data available.

According to the data available on the website of Director Health Services, Kashmir, the total number of deliveries carried out by the specialists, amid the paucity of manpower is 6158.

On average, the total number of consultant gynaecologists available in nine districts of Kashmir Division: Anantnag, Bandipora, Baramulla, Budgam, Ganderbal, Kulgam, Kupwara, Pulwama and Shopian is shockingly five.

“Considering that there are 5 consultant gynaecologists in hospitals in peripheries, these 5 consultant gynaecologists are still not enough as per the required needs,” sources said.

Interestingly, the doctors-patient ration in the entire J&K is 1:3500. However, in Kashmir the ration is placed at 1:250, while as the international standards  puts the ratio at 1:17. The good doctor-patient ratio, worldwide is considered to be a sign of efficient healthcare, which seems not to be the case after analyzing the figures, especially in peripheral maternity care.

With the absence of required manpower in these districts healthcare, particularly the maternity care is getting affected badly, with at times, medical officers made to perform the surgeries at several places.

There have been numerous reports so far, castigating the inefficient healthcare in peripheries, but shockingly 25 posts of consultant gynaecologists are lying vacant and have not been filled so far.

“If 25 posts are vacant and if these seats are even filled, it is still not going to help the case of the patients in the peripheries,” sources said, adding there is a need to fill vacant posts, and create additional posts which would cater to the needs of the colossal peripheral population.

Experts are also suggesting that there is need of pooling the specialists at a particular facility, rather than keeping them scattered in different areas.

“Bringing them at a place is going to work in the situation which demands out-of-box measures,” experts said.

Amid all this, experts are further saying that government should be giving a second thought to the initiative of making several Sub-District Hospitals and District Hospitals functional 24 hours.

“The absence of manpower which, as of now is the case, makes the entire move quite irrational,” said the source.

The government has already been under severe criticism from several medico bodies for creating additional infrastructure and not paying any heed to improve the immense paucity of required manpower to the run system in peripheries efficiently.

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