By Mudassir Kuloo
Srinagar, Mar 25: While Jammu and Kashmir lacks the health infrastructure, over 20 health projects started over eight-years-ago have not been completed so far.
The JK’s health sector presents a dismal picture. According to a survey, the Health Department has found that state has deficiency of over 1,500 health institutions based on catchment area, population coverage and existing health care institutes across the J&K.
At the same time, the government has failed to complete atleast 20 health projects that could have upgraded the state’s health infrastructure. The projects were to be completed by Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation (JKPCC), and Roads and Buildings Department.
An official of the Health Department said that work on these projects was started 8 to 10 years ago. “The construction agencies are showing no concern in completion of the projects. Multiple deadlines have been missed in completion of these projects,” the official said.
The work on district hospital Bandipora was started in 2006. Despite passing 11 years, the building has not been completed. Similarly, the construction work on sub-district hospitals of Rajpora Pulwama, Pakherpora Budgam, Kralpora Kupwara , Kremshore Budgam, Kulgam, IPD block district hospital Pulwama have not been completed over the years.
Work on sub-district hospital Rajouri was started in 2005 and has not been completed so far. There are several such projects on which construction work is going for a long time.
“Work on several projects is going for the last over a decade despite that they are yet to get completed,” the official said.
The official said that government was not bothered in completion of these projects despite the state lacks health infrastructure. “There is requirement of 35 more community health centres, over 100 primary health centres and several hundred sub-centres in the Valley,” the official said.
He said that lack of health care facilities in far-flung areas was putting extra burden on tertiary care hospitals.
Figures of Union Ministry of Health and Family Affairs released in 2016 also 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,” the figures revealed.
Minister for Health and Medical Education Bali Bhagat admitted that the state lacks health infrastructure.
“The previous government had paid no attention towards this vital sector. But for the last three years, there has been huge improvement in health care system of the state,” Bhagat said.
“Work on health projects has been intensified and will be completed very soon.”