‘Health’ being a state subject, despite the issuance of the guidelines by the central government, the final prerogative on implementation of the schemes lie with the states. Jammu and Kashmir also regulates and controls health sector through public investment and regulations. The Health department overlooks the health policies and laws framed to keep people healthy. There’s a hierarchy of Hospitals and medical institutions. SKIMS , SMHS , DH and SDH with dovetailing hierarchy of primary health centres has been established to look after health sector. However the private sector rise apart from public sector extended its reach to the above sector as well.
Private hospitals have been established at various district headquarters. Apart from this practice the local tradition of single-clinic-cum-single-doctor is widely prevalent. This practice involves a big chunk of professionals who try private ways to advance their business interests. These private clinics are out of regulation and therefore work on their own whims and fancies. Although the practice is good and reachable at one’s own will but the practice is emerging bane for society now. On the one hand these clinics charge exorbitant fee and on the other hand this lucrative business attracts fake doctors. In recent past uncovering of fake doctors speaks volumes about unregulated private clinics. Is Health a buying and selling commodity like cell phones? Has profession lost work ethic? Is business superseding humane quality of living world?
The rising number of fake doctors in Kashmir now hogs headlines of newspapers with more frequency. A doctor flaunting MBBS degree on sign boards of his clinic was caught recently. The subsequent uncovering of facts revealed he was a mere 10th pass. As per media reports the person had a good practice in the district where the gullible followed his prescription for over a decade. Another fake doctor with fake MD was caught.
The life of man is missing value at great pace due to the activities of such elements inimical to health of society. Human development index is pillared on Standard of Living. The society where doctors are 10th pass and clinics are unregulated speaks about its rank. The mushrooming growth of private clinics and medical agencies is putting the valuable health of our society at risk. The question most often asked is the prevailing crisis in health sector despite a good arrangement on papers. The institutional hierarchy established through public investment fails to check the growth of such immoral activities due to mismanagement and loss of ethics. A doctor of government institutions has fixed appointments in the morning and evening for private clinics where only blue blood bear the brunt. And if they visit hospital their unfriendly attitude pushes public towards private clinics.
The debate doesn’t stops here. Fake doctors are supplemented by fake and spurious medicine found in abundance today in every nook and corner of our state. The mushrooming growth of private suppliers illegally dominate the market with substandard medicines for profit motive. It’s generally believed in medical profession that fake medicines fetch more profit than pure medicines or branded drugs. The patients are left at their own mercy due to induction of wrong medicines from wrong consultant. There’s an immediate need to derecognize such agencies involved in the said practice.
Doctor is an honourable profession in society but medical profession is in crisis these days. The onus lies on Government to quickly establish a framework for private clinics and issue a registered license for any such work in future. A Medical Board under supervision of Director Health Services with judicial powers should be immediately established to look into these matters. A strict regulation module shall be prepared for private clinics to held them responsible in future.
Shahid Majeed Mir
Misribehak, Machil Kupwara
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.