Patient care needed
`The healthcare is a priority sector with the government’. It is an often repeated one-liner that people are tired of listening from the governments in power. Without fail this sentence has been finding a mention in the budget speech of the Finance Minister in the State Assembly but hardly any government has so far taken any concrete steps to put the derailed health sector in the state on the track. Hospitals, Primary Health Centers and Dispensaries without any exception all over the state in the rural and urban areas more particularly in Kashmir valley are in a shambles. True, it was for the personal intervention of Chief Minister that some orderliness was brought in the L.D. Hospital, the only women’s and maternity hospital in Kashmir but the condition of most of hospital remains deplorable. The stinking and unhygienic condition of the children’s Hospital has been making headlines in the print and electronic media for the past many months without evoking any response from the government. The story equally holds good for all major hospitals in the state. It is not only cleanliness that the hospital lacks but with many senior doctors running their private clinics during hospital hours the patient care in most of the hospitals is almost negligible. Despite laws preventing private practice being in vogue in the state and the government having launched drives against it in the past, majority of doctors at the cost of patients in government hospitals have been carrying out private practices with impunity. The glaring examples of the decaying work culture were the way two of political advisors of former Chief Minister, Dr. Farooq Abdullah died for lack of adequate medical care in the premier medical institute of the state.
The Finance Minister during his 2009-2010 budget speech had besides holding promise for increasing domestic production in key revenue generating sectors including agriculture, horticulture and poultry had also announced that a lot of attention would be provided towards improving healthcare in the state but during the past one year nothing much has been done for building infrastructure and improving man power in hospitals. No measures are being taken to improve the existing facilities in hospitals. Notwithstanding increase in the number of patients the intake capacity in most of the hospitals has remained static.
The shortage of life saving drugs and essential medicines in the government run hospitals is alarming. It is not the rural dispensaries, primary health centers continue to suffer shortage of medicines but all premier hospitals including the Government Medical College associated hospitals that are facing acute shortage of medicine. There are reports that in major city hospitals including SMHS and GB Pant patients are being provided only intravenous drips and a few cheap antibiotics. The situation in GB Pant hospital is reported to be the worst. The hospital has been running short of essential drug supplies for almost six months now. There reports that no new drugs were purchased for the current year and the budget allocated were utilized for clearing the past liabilities. The life of children and other patients have been imperiled for lack of planning, monitoring and accountability in this hospital. The hospital is facing a sever crisis for non-availability life-saving drugs, antibiotics, drugs for resuscitation of babies and drugs for convulsions. So is true about bone and joint hospital and district hospitals. The purchase of sub-standard and spurious drugs and medicine both for allopathic and Indian System of Medicine dispensaries and even purchasing on papers only has been public knowledge that has been drawing flak from press and people. Some time back the government had appointed a committee to formulate a drug policy. The committee has sent its recommendations to the government but these have not been implemented till date. While calling upon the government to introduce a drug policy in the state, ensure supply of essential medicines in the hospitals, evolve a well thought out mechanism for ensuring improvement in patient care in hospitals. There is also need for the civil society to set up hospitals and medical centre on no profit-no-loss basis for the poor and needy. The government also needs to encourage setting up of diagnostic centers and hospitals by public institutions. That will help a great deal in providing the much needed succor.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 22 Mar 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 22 Mar 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Mar 2010 00:00:00 IST
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