Srinagar: Hampered for want of funds, government hospitals have been unable to procure the latest equipment’s. Taking advantage of this, the private hospitals have stepped in, to fill the gap and mint hefty money from the poor patients.
Sources said that as the numbers of government hospitals are short of hi-tech equipment’s, various private hospitals are now in a rush to buy the latest gadgetry.
It has also been seen that doctors also increasingly find the prospect of work with private hospitals attractive. Some have quit government hospitals while others are joining them on their return from the Gulf.
A senior surgeon explained that there is disillusionment with government hospitals because even essentials like drugs and instruments are often short in supply.
“In private hospitals at least there is some job satisfaction,” he said.
The Doctor added that for instance, some state government-run hospitals doesn't have a single CT scan, while as the private hospitals have got the facility.
Another doctor said that we don’t have hospitals in the state which are clean, efficient and well run. “Show me one government hospital which is clean and fully equipped.”
Experts however say that government hospitals have suffered because doctors, nurses and technicians have been lured away in droves by the hefty pay packets. It has weakened the government infrastructure which, in spite of its shortcomings, is probably better than that in most states.
While private hospitals may have to cough up a portion of their profits - with enough money going around for the public to pay for hi-tech - there is little doubt that boom times are here to stay.”
An investigation carried out by news gathering agency, KNS, has revealed that several patients are forced to undergo medical tests at private laboratories by government hospital doctors, who are guided by the lucre offered by these diagnostic centres.
It has been found that a large number of people, who throng the city's government hospitals every day, are denied mandatory tests there or asked to wait for more than a month. Several private diagnostic centres are cashing in on this opportunity.
Sources said that the private labs and diagnostic centres have hired touts to bring patients and their families to these centres for tests. According to sources, private labs and diagnostic centres approach doctors of the government hospital.
If any patient is in emergency and needs to get the tests done, the doctor will advise the attendants to visit these private labs to get the report as early as possible” sources said.
Patients complain that most of the time diagnostic facilities, such as X-ray and CT scan, in government hospitals are not working, which forces them to opt for private laboratories.
Habibullah (name changed), who is facing stomach problem was unable to get a date for the test in SMHS. He has visited this hospital thrice in the same month, but has been asked to come back after a month to get the tests done.
The never-ending wait and exhaustion of funds leave these vulnerable patients in the lurch.
Sources said that there is no check on doctors who draw salaries from the government, but perform tests and surgeries at private hospitals.
Sources said that with no accountability, the countless patients in the state falling victim to the insatiable greed of private hospitals.