‘Not even basic diagnosis is carried out here’
Anantnag: With more than 15,000 people dependent on it for their healthcare needs, the Primary Health Centre (PHC) here in Gadol area of Kokernag in Anantnag district has been running from a small shop for the past 8 years now, and right now without a doctor deputed to it.
The centre was earlier run from a rented accommodation in a residential house. Eight years ago, it was shifted to a small shop in the vicinity when a new building was sanctioned for it.
That new building is nowhere in sight. The health centre continues to work from the small shop. To make matters worse, the PHC does not have a doctor deputed to it.
“A doctor from a nearby PHC visits this place, twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays. Rest of the week the centre is almost defunct. Not even basic diagnosis is carried out here,” a local source told Kashmir Reader.
He said that the other employees at the PHC, including 3 working on the Hospital Development Fund (HDF) and 2 others, do not even have a place to sit inside the small shop.
“So, all that gets done here is immunisation on Wednesdays and basic first-aid. We don’t even blame the employees for not visiting regularly, for there is no space to sit. Besides, they do not even have a washroom facility. What are they supposed to do?” the local sources said.
There is also no privacy at the centre. People, particularly women, prefer to travel to other places for their health checkups and not to the small shop of a PHC.
Sources in the health department said that a building was being constructed for the PHC but it was far from completion. “Now another building is being constructed and the earlier one is deemed to be a residential space for the staff of the hospital. However, it will be a long time before any of the two is completed,” the sources said.
The people, meanwhile, have to travel all the way to Kokernag Sub-District Hospital (SDH), some 10 kilometres from Gadol.
“It’s not an easy road to travel on. Besides, the public transport here is unreliable, especially during the night,” local residents rued.
Kashmir Reader talked to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Anantnag, Dr Mukhtar Ahmad Shah, who said that he has been sending constant reminders to the government about the PHC.
“Yes, the building is incomplete and I have been writing to the government about it,” the CMO said. When asked who was constructing the buildings, he said he was not sure and would have to have a look at the papers in his office.
Dr Shah assured he will look into the matter when informed that there was no doctor deputed to the PHC, as well.