SHOPIAN: Residents of Imamsahib village in district Shopian on Monday accused the government of denying them healthcare facilities, saying there is no hospital or primary health centre in their area.
Villagers told Kashmir Reader that in year 2013, a foundation stone of New Type Primary Health Center (NTPHC) was laid by the government, “but it was never completed.” They said that unfinished building of NTPHC is decaying due to the callous attitude of the authorities, and the residents from the area are suffering.
They said that one dispensary is running in their village in a rented building with inexperienced staff. “The Staffers at dispensary always come in the afternoon and leave within an hour or two,” said Khursheed Ahmad, a local.
When this reporter reached at the dispensary at around 11:30 am, it was closed.
Locals said that healthcare facilities is their fundamental right, but the present coalition government is depriving them of their rights.
They said that in times of emergency or major health problems, they are forced to go to Shopian hospital, which also lacks the basic healthcare facilities.
Villagers added that Imamsahib despite being at the center of business activity surrounded by dozens of villages, has been denied of every kind of facility.
Muzaffar Ahmad Wagay, a local, told Kashmir Reader that in 2015 then minister of health Choudary Lal Sing assured the villagers that the hospital building will be completed within five months and operational by December of that year. “We are still waiting for that assurance,” he said, while demanding speedy completion of hospital building so that the people from the area should not suffer.
Officials from health department told Kashmir Reader that the work of NTPHC Imamsahib was taken in 2013, but due to the lack of funds the building couldn’t be completed.
Chief medical officer Shopian Dr Abdul Rasheed said that the NTPHC scheme was not in any plan, but Rs 7.5 lakh were spent on the hospital from district commissioner’s fund. “Later Rs 10 lakh was released by the government which were liquidated on old expenses and walls of the building, “he said, adding that since then no fund for the hospital was released by the government.
He said that he several times wrote to the higher officials about the hospital, but till date no reply or funds were released by them.
When asked why the staff at dispensary were not available there, he said he will look into this matter.
When contacted minster of state for health Asiya Naqash, she did not answer to the repeated calls and messages of this reporter.