Sutharan Drung: population 20,000, doctors nil

Sutharan Drung: population 20,000, doctors nil
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Budgam: Notwithstanding the government directives about providing quality health services in the rural areas of the state, the vast area of Sutharan Drung in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, with a population of around 20,000, has no MBBS doctor.
There are a few health sub-centres scattered across some hamlets and a Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Lassipora Drung, but the infrastructure of the centres is so poor that they are hardly able to address their localities’ health issues.
PHC Lassipora operates out of a rented building. Anyone visiting it finds tests being done on the veranda under the stairs because of the unavailability of a laboratory.
The sub-centres lack required staff and medicine stocks; even packets of bandages are not to be had, people complain. These centres usually open only on immunization days.
Given the large population of this area, the government had in 2002 announced the establishment of a primary health centre at Drung Lassipora. But no MBBS doctor is available for people so far.
Health officials said that an MBBS doctor was posted at this hospital three years back, but he never reported for duty. While the centre functions out of a rented building, a building was actually once sanctioned for it. But political tussles among people prevented its construction from being carried out.
“For the initial years, the rented building could easily house the hospital, but as the services and machinery were sanctioned for this health centre, its space fell short for accommodating the hospital equipment. Presently, an X-ray machine, an oxygen machine, a dental chair and a baby warmer set are lying defunct here due to the space crunch. There is no space even for expecting women to undergo delivery,’’ said a health official.