Srinagar: Three months on the state government has failed to keep its promise of coming up with dialysis facilities at district level hospitals. Notably, the state’s health minister had issues directions to Directorate of Health, Kashmir in November last to provide dialysis facilities for patients at district level within a period of three months.
Sources privy to the development said that the government has not even kick-started the process to operationalise the dialysis facilities at the district level hospitals, failing the self imposed deadline of three months.
In November last year, Minister for Health & Medical Education Bali Baghat in a meeting with Director Health Services, Kashmir and Jammu impressed upon them to immediately set in motion the process of making the Dialysis facilities operational at the district level hospitals within next three months.
The officials were also directed to depute two doctors and technicians from each district to undergo technical training for handling the Dialysis machines in the district hospitals.
However, so far, sources said that nothing of this sort has been initiated and the process seems, as if stalled due to unknown reasons.
“It was said that the process will be completed within three months, but so far, there seems to be no development in that direction,” sources said.
The Minister during the meeting also called for strengthening the services at the district, tehsil and block level institutions to minimize the flow of patients to the tertiary level institutions.
He also issued strict instructions to the concerned authorities to check unnecessary referral of cases with minor problems to the higher institutions, as “the diagnostic facilities with the services of specialists of different disciplines are adequately available in these institutions,” he said.
However, doctors posted in peripheries said the health institutions “in district level are even lacking the basic availability of certain diagnostic machinery such as CT scan and MRI, leave alone the facilities of dialysis centres in the peripheries,” a doctor said.
Currently, there are only few institutions in government sectors that are catering to the needs of patients who are in need of regular dialysis.
Experts are of the opinion that there is a need of setting the facility immediately at district level so that the patients in peripheries are offered such facilities at their respective districts.
“If the government is seriously concerned about the improvement of healthcare facilities in peripheries, it should make sure that there is enough diagnostic machinery available and then if the government is really serious to start the dialysis facility at district hospitals, then it should go ahead without any further delay,” a doctor posted in peripheries said.
The patients, as of now—especially those who are in dire need of undergoing dialysis—are compelled to visit private dialysis centres where the costs exceed their financial ability.