Health sector runs on crutches

Srinagar: While the State government led by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has taken some effective measures about the health sector, hundreds of healthcare centers in Jammu and Kashmir are craving for the attention and facing shortage of manpower.

The government recently terminated 100 medicos for remaining absent on duties unauthorized, the decision which attracted widespread appreciation from the public and people expect various such effective measures for the development of Health sector.

The Governor had also directed the Health Secretary to issue orders for withdrawing doctors attached at any station, including New Delhi, without availability of posts are superfluous without any actual requirement or availability of posts.

Sources in the government told KNS that these measures were taken in view of shortage of medicos in health centres and hospitals.

According to the sources the Health department over the years has seen less recruitment of doctors thereby letting patients suffer due to lack of speedy medical attention.

The doctor patient ratio in J&K is 1:2104 as against the recommendations of World Health Organization (WHO) of 1:1000, which is grossly in-sufficient.

According to official figures, the Health and Medical Education department is facing acute shortage of manpower with around 4000 gazetted and non-gazetted posts lying vacant.

Around 1000 gazetted posts are lying vacant in Health and Medical education department in the State including 500 vacancies in Health and Family Welfare Services, 100 vacancies in Medical Education department, government dental colleges 50, and around 150 posts are lying vacant in ISM and drug and food control organization.

However, Governor recently directed that Health Secretary to follow a policy for filling up the posts of Medical Officers to be posted in Medical Colleges and other departments without compromising the manpower availability in the Health Department.

According to official statistics of Health department, the Geo-Informatics System has found that the state has deficiency of 1,757 health institutions based on catchment area, population coverage and existing health care institutes across the J&K.

Directorate of Health Services, Jammu has deficient of 22 CHCs, 79 PHCs and 594 SCs. The lack of health care facilities in far-flung areas is putting extra burden on tertiary care hospitals.

Similarly, the statistics reveal that Kashmir lacks 42 Community Health Centres (CHC), 122 Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and 898 Sub-Centres (SCs) as per population norms, that presents a dismal picture of the health scenario of the state.

Figures of Union Ministry of Health and Family Affairs released last year too revealed a grim picture of the Health sector. Out of 2265 sub-health centres in J&K, 1290 (57 per cent) have no regular water supply. Similarly 1013 of these SHCs have no electricity and 672 are without an all-weather motorable approach road.

When it comes to a total of 637 Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in the state, only 328 have a labour room whereas 253 have no beds available. 81, 94, and 98, of these PHCs are also without electricity, water, and motorable approach road respectively.

Commissioner Secretary Health and Medical Education Mandeep Kumar Bandari told KNS that the government was taking measures for uplifting the Health sector of the state. “The Health sector has witnessed visible change in the recent past. You will see a huge difference in the coming months and better patient care in health centres,” he said. (KNS)



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