Srinagar: The healthcare facilities available in the state especially in Kashmir division speak volumes about how this critical sector is witnessing apathy at the hands of the government.
The healthcare system has been blatantly misused by those who wield power and no plan has been put in place to ensure growth in this sector on professional lines and the requirement on ground.
The elected representatives in the state have misused their authority by stressing on increasing the health care infrastructure in the peripheries without taking into account the actual requirement.
This unplanned intervention has led to a crisis like situation as the health care infrastructure has grown way beyond than what is actually required. The unhealthy growth is not only putting an extra burden on the state’s exchequer but is ruining the prospects of healthy growth in this vital sector.
As per data provided by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt of India, as on March 2016 there are additional 796 Sub Centres, 310 Public Health Centres (PHCs) and 3 Community Health Centres (CHCs) functional in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The data reveals that in case of PHCs, there is a total requirement of 327 in the state based on the population of 2011 census, however, a total number of 637 PHCs are functional in the state, creating a surplus strength of 310 PHCs as on 31 March 2016.
In case of Sub Centres, the state’s total requirement is 2009 Sub Centres in the peripheries, and in contrast a total number of 2805 Sub Centres are functioning in the state, creating a surplus strength of 796 Sub Centres.
Interestingly, the Community Health Centres (CHCs) strength should be 81 while as 84 are functional in the peripheries.
The comparative analysis of the data on the strength of infrastructure present in the state’s peripheries from the year 2005 till 2016 reveals that there has been considerable increase in the infrastructure in the peripheries, with less importance given to the incorporation of manpower at such facilities.
As per data, there was a total number of 1879 Sub Centres functional in the state in the year 2005, the figures rose to 2805 in the year 2016 indicating the addition of 49 per cent in terms of infrastructure within the period of 11 years.
Similarly, in terms of PHCs, there was a total number of 334 Sub Centres functional in the state in the year 2005, the figures rose to 637 in the year 2016 indicating the addition of 90 per cent in terms of infrastructure within the period of 11 years.
The data clearly reveals that there has been a mushrooming of health centres in peripheries, with less attention given to the creation of posts in order to make all such facilities functional.
This being the tip of the iceberg, there are many other serious issues concerning the healthcare system. The prime being that funds meant for maintenance of hospitals as also for repairs are being spent on paying wages to hundreds of helpers who have been engaged by hospital management on the instruction of legislators.
Though the finance department issued a circular that gives a clear picture of how the Hospital Development Funds are being misused, the situation remains grim.