PULWAMA: The Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Gulzarpora village, meant for providing health care facilities to dozens of villages in the Awantipora belt of southern district Pulwama, has turned into a nightmare for the inhabitants of its environs, given the hospital’s lack of basic facilities and dearth of doctors.
Locals from the area said that a single doctor at this hospital is taking care of everything, whether the case is complicated or is about smaller ailments. They said that the hospital’s PHC tag is merely on paper and instead the hospital lacks everything a PHC should have.
Gulzarpora resident Ishfaq Ahmad told Kashmir Reader that although the hospital has a big building and another structure for it is under construction, but without the sanction of doctors this building has no worth. “We have brought this issue to the notice of higher ups several times, but our repeated pleas were unnoticed,” he said while adding that he was suffering from a severe tooth infection and was forced to go to the hospital in Awantipora as the hospital at his native village has none of the facilities he needs.
Another resident said that the only worth of the hospital is it has the capacity to shift patients to District Hospital Pulwama or to Srinagar-based hospitals. “The staff there violate the official timings; they come to and leave the hospital as per their choice,” he said.
Villagers question the government’s motive in constructing a building for a PHC without doctors, one best known for shifting patients to other hospitals.
Villagers from the area also demanded sanction for an X-ray machine, a dental section and, most importantly, a gynaecologist at the hospital. They said that till date only two or three deliveries have happened at this hospital and that all were normal deliveries at that. The rest of the expectant mothers coming here were shifted to other hospitals because the hospital has no manpower to handle serious patients, particularly delivery cases. Due to the dearth of doctors in the PHC, more than six cases daily are referred to other hospitals, the villagers said.
PHC Gulzarpora caters to a huge population of Reshipora, Beighpora, Renzipora, Banderpora, Khandaypora and Shaltakuna, Gadhenzipora, Gadtokun and several other villages, comprising thousands of inhabitants However it fails to meet its patients’ expectations due to its lack of staff. Chief Medical Officer Dr Jaffar Akhoon told Kashmir Reader that three doctors are sanctioned for the hospital, of whom two are on leave. “The number of doctors there is as per the number of patients visiting the hospital which is not higher than 30 a day, so one doctor is enough there,” he said adding that the PHC’s gynaecologist is on maternity leave and that normal delivery can be handled by paramedic staff as well.
Akhoon added that he has written about the sanction of X-ray facilities to the concerned authorities. About staff disregarding the hospital’s working hours, he said, “Violating official timing by staff there cannot be entertained at all. Locals can contact me in case of such issues, and adequate action will be taken against those staffers.” He added that this hospital doesn’t come under night services but despite that its departments had made arrangements through local staffers for night service.
Meanwhile the staffers deputed for the hospital said that for providing night services in the hospital there should be more staffers. One among the staffers said that only two people were deputed for providing night services, which according to them can’t be done with so low a number of staffers.