Rural Healthcare: In Shopian, no option but to refer patients to Srinagar

Rural Healthcare: In Shopian, no option but to refer patients to Srinagar
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Even Pulwama hospitals getting rush from Shopain

SHOPIAN: Even as the incident of a woman, referred from Kupwara to Lal Ded Hospital, giving birth to baby on roadside may have brought focus to referrals from districts, there is hardly anyone bothered about improving the facilities.
Among the districts in Kashmir, Shopian perhaps boasts of the most dismal of healthcare infrastructure, where none of the health centres, including the district hospital, have 24X7 maternity services available.
The situation forces the doctors to refer patients to Srinagar hospitals or to health centres in neighbouring Pulwama district.
Doctors in Pulwama hospital, on the other hand, rue that rush of patients from Shopian, especially expectant mothers, affects their work badly.
Many residents of Shopian, Kashmir Reader talked to, asked why the patients weren’t registered in Srinagar hospitals, in the first place, if there were no facilities in the home district.
“The doctors in Shopian refer the expecting mothers at last stage,” Gulzar Ahmad Shah, one of the locals said.
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Shopian Dr Abdul Rasheed told Kashmir Reader that three health centres including district hospital, Zainpora PHC and Keller PHC have child birth facilities.
“These facilities are only for daytime, and during night hours we refer the patients to Srinagar due to the dearth of doctors and paramedic staff,” he said.
The Shopian district comprising of over 3 lakh people, has many areas like Keller, Kathalan, Hirpora and Sedow, from where Srinagar is more than two and half hours journey. The district does not have a critical care ambulance in which such patients with doctors and mobile ICU could be moved to Srinagar based hospitals.
“Either the child or the mother dies in such cases, as different patients have different complications. These can be tackled only with adequate number of specialised doctors and anaesthetics. But we in Shopian have no such facilities,” a doctor posted in Shopian said.
CMO Rasheed, added that they have one post each of gynaecologist, anaesthetic and surgeon at three hospitals.
“These doctors are forced to perform duties in OPD, the evaluation and date for the surgeries. They are overburdened. With three gynaecologist in the district we even are not able to do surgeries in day, night services is a nightmare,” he said adding that the three hospitals need 30 more doctors, besides anaesthetics and paediatricians to have night services.
Parvaiz Ahmad Bhat, another local said that they face humiliation after being denied treatments in the hospitals in other districts.
“We request Governor Satya Pal Malik to create more posts of doctors and facilities in the district so that people would not suffer and precious lives not go waste. Our repeated pledges and demonstration got unnoticed by the politicians who come to power and ignore the problems of people,” Parvaiz said.