- No gastroenterologist for a district wrecked by stomach disorders
- Physician on leave, no post of pediatrician at sub-district hospital
Shopian: Not a single gastroenterologist is available at any hospital in Shopian, despite experts saying that stomach diseases were rampant in the district because of heavy use of pesticides in the horticulture sector.
Almost 95 percent of inhabitants in the district are directly dependent on horticulture.
Lack of a gastroenterologist in the district forces patients to go to Srinagar or Anantnag based hospitals.
“People here are dying due to the government’s apathy, previous government made several promises to us but all they said turned into a big lie and creation of district hospital is still pending,” Javid Ahmad Malik, a resident of Shopian, said.
A doctor at Sub-District Hospital (SDH) Shopian told Kashmir Reader that a large number of patients complaining of stomach disorders visit the hospital but leave disheartened for lack of a specialist. Similarly, a pediatrician is also not available at the hospital, as the post is not sanctioned.
“We do receive over 100 patients per day suffering from stomach ailments at SDH Shopian and around 300 in other primary health centers,” another doctor deputed in the hospital said, while adding that the posts of physician and orthopaedician were also lying vacant.
“Once the minor ailments get ignored by people themselves or due to the lack of specialist doctors, it turns into chronic diseases of which scores are suffering here,” he added.
People accuse authorities of ignoring the hospital which they said had nothing except the tag of a district hospital. “How long would government hide their lies and play with the lives of innocent people. We even have been denied of right to live,” laments Shahid Ahmad Tak, a patient who had come to consult a gastroenterologist.
Shopian has a large number of patients suffering from diseases like cancer and as per health experts, rampant use of toxic sprays in orchards was responsible for some deadly diseases.
According to doctors, besides stomach disorders caused by pesticides, the frequent violent incidents in the district have also led to gastroenterological and peptic ulcers.
Tanveer Ahmad Lone, a computer science student, said the district was badly in need of a well equipped hospital. “I want to request Governor to make SDH Shopian a district hospital because all politicians who come to power have ignored our district in terms of health care facilities,” Lone said.
Chief Medical Officer Shopian, Dr Abdul Rasheed said that he has no authority to create new posts. “We were brining orthopaedician from Pulwama but after his transfer there isn’t one,” Dr Rasheed said. Besides, he said, a pediatrician is not sanctioned for the hospital and the physician has gone on leave and isn’t joining back.
Director Health Services, Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman did not respond to repeated calls from this reporter. Principal Secretary Health also did not respond to repeated calls and messages.