Srinagar, Mar 27: Healthcare services in the rural hospitals are in bad shape, especially with the Primary Health Centers (PHCs) grappling with shortage of doctors.
One of the officials in the health department said that the situation in rural health centres has reached a bleeding point. “Go to any hospital in rural Kashmir, there is a beeline of people. The demand and provision of services has increased over the years, but due to shortage of doctors, the quality of services is bound to suffer,” said the official.
Sources said that the prevailing scenario vis-à-vis availability of doctors can be gauged from the figures which reveal that the doctor-patient ratio in Jammu Kashmir is 1:1880 against the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) of 1:1000. “Nothing has changed considerably on the ground from the shortage of doctors. Most of the district hospitals have become referral hospitals, while the Government Medical College Hospitals have been flooded with patients from other districts and the hospital administration is facing extreme hardships in providing better healthcare facilities to all the patients”, sources said.
Sources said that the situation is worst in the hospitals at some district headquarters and in remote areas where vacancies of doctors are ranging between 50%. “Every time when the issue of shortage of manpower is raised at any forum the ball is put in the court of recruiting agencies-Public Services Commission and Jammu and Kashmir Services Selection Board, but no serious efforts were ever made to exert pressure on these recruiting agencies to expedite the recruitment process so that real objective and vision of the Health and Medical Education Department is achieved”, sources remarked.
On the other hand sources said that despite several benefits, doctors don’t want to go to the rural areas because of various reasons. “They don’t get good facilities for their families such as education and ease of living as they get in urban cities,” said a senior health ministry official.
“We are trying our level best to move doctors to rural areas because these areas too require good healthcare services.” According to official data, in 2015-16, 1.2 crore out patients were examined in hospitals of rural Kashmir. The number is twice the OPD load in rural Kashmir in 2010-11. However, there has been no substantial allocation of additional human resources to cater to this load, the official said.
One of the doctors said that the subsequent governments have failed to fix the ailing health sector – the brunt of which is being primarily faced by the people in rural areas. “From news reports, you will come to know about fights between medicos and attendants over petty issues in the rural hospitals every third day which is an indication of the fact that doctors are not able to provide desired care to all the patients, but who cares?” said the doctor wishing anonymity.
The doctors said that the theory and practice in rural hospitals of Kashmir is this: if the doctor is female, then the place for her is the maternity ward.
“Hundreds of female doctors, whatever be their qualification and specialty, are being made to handle cases that properly need a gynecologist or obstetrician to attend to,” they maintained.
The Director health services Kashmir Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman said that the requirement for additional human resource had been proposed to government and that they were hopeful that more posts of doctors would be sanctioned. “We have support from other schemes and programs but if we want to continue delivery of healthcare and services we would definitely need more doctors,” he said. (KNS)
Scientific waste disposal continues to remain a challenge in Kashmir
Srinagar, Jan 18: The authorities have not been able to strike a balance between the increased tourist inflow and the scientific disposal of garbage, official documents reveal.
“Being a popular tourist destination, issues pertaining to solid waste are on the rise in the state and need to be addressed immediately,” reveals the Housing and Urban Development (H&UD) department’s 2018 draft action plan for solid-waste management.
It says that sold waste generation has witnessed an increase of over 8 percent in a decade.
“The Central Pollution Control Board report estimates that a total of 400 metric tons of waste is generated per day in Srinagar, 62 percent of this waste is organic in nature while the remaining is inorganic including 7 percent of plastic waste,” reads the document.
An official of H&UD department said that given the rapid urbanization and growing population, this sector (waste management) needs immediate attention.
“The valley’s non-dumping options to manage waste have also shrunk drastically. Burning waste no longer seems viable because of environmental concerns and poor segregation of waste. Compost plants are not doing well because manure doesn’t sell, and again becomes garbage,” the official said.
With population of 12.36 lakh, spread over an area of 294 sq km on both sides of Jhelum, not even a single residential area or commercial establishment in Srinagar has the facility of segregation of solid waste, and much of the waste is dumped into water bodies including Dal Lake.
“Civic bodies blame residents for not segregating the waste but what’s the point when everything will eventually be mixed-up? Segregation by residents will only work when the municipal bodies have complete door-to-door waste collection system and trash pickups have separate containers for dry and wet waste,” the official added.
He said for segregation, greater civic awareness was a must.
“But municipalities must also set up the infrastructure and notify their solid-waste management policy under the 2016 rules. So far, it has remained confined to papers only,” the official said.
A recent report by NITI Aayog ‘Report of Working Group II, Sustainable Tourism in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR)’ too revealed that waste management was a huge challenge in Jammu and Kashmir and will become much more threatening as the number of tourists grows.
J&K fares poorly, with 0.14 gm per capita per day solid waste generation, the second worst in IHR region after Mizoram.
The state has faced repeated censuring by National Green Tribunal.
J&K has witnessed a mushroom growth of tourism infrastructure around water bodies, with little or no concern for the former’s impact over the latter.
90s massacres: Joint Hurriyat calls for shutdown on Jan 21, 25, and 27 in Kashmir parts
Srinagar, Jan 18: The Joint Hurriyat Leadership on Friday called for shutdown in Gaw Kadal, Handwara and Kupwara to mark the anniversaries of three massacres that took place in January 1990 in these areas.
The Joint Hurriyat comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik, in a statement asked people to observe complete shutdown in Gawkadal, Basant Bagh, Chota Bazar, Budshah Chowk and adjacent areas on January 21 (Monday).
It also asked people to observe shutdown in Handwara and Kupwara areas on January 25 and 27 respectively on Handwara and Kupwara massacres anniversaries.
“Carnage at Gaw Kadal, Handwara and Kupwara remind us of Indian brutal occupation and oppression. Illegal Military occupation followed by such massacres symbolizes callousness under the garb of so-called democracy. The nation of Kashmir is indebted to martyrs who laid down their lives for freedom and resistance leadership pledges to continue this struggle till the achievement of the sacred goal,” the statement said.
Joint Hurriyat said Kashmir is “indebted to martyrs who laid down their lives for freedom and resistance leadership pledges to continue this struggle till the achievement of the sacred goal.”
“Days like 21st, 25th and 27th January 1990 remind us of the sacrifices rendered by our dear ones. These are the days for reiteration of our commitment towards the sacred mission and today while recalling these great sacrifices we reiterate our pledge to take forward the task of martyrs till the achievement of the desired goal,” they said.
Fruit growers, dealers association meets Governor
Jammu, Jan 18: A delegation of The Kashmir Fruit Growers and Dealers Association, from Sopore led by its president F A Malik, met Governor Satya Pal Malik at the Raj Bhavan here on Friday.
The members of the delegation requested that the KCC loans of farmers be waived off on account of damage to the horticulture crops due to unexpected hailstorm.
They also requested that unhindered movement of fresh fruits outside the State be allowed.
“They also requested sanctioning of adequate funds for development of Fruit Mandi at Sopore; installation of High Mast Lights at Fruit Mandi Sopore and enroute from Sopore Bye-Pass to the Fruit Mandi; availability of quality pesticides and Tree Spray oils at genuine rates; construction of a fly over from Chakrodaykhan up to Hakim Sonaullah Hospital and Fruit Mandi; sanctioned railway track from Baramulla to Kupwara be routed from Amargarh Sopore station with a station in vicinity of Fruit Mandi; construction of a truck terminal at Tulball, Sopore and revival of juice plant at Doabgah,” a Raj Bhavan Spokesperson said.
Governor assured due consideration of their demands.