28 yrs on, Sopore Sub-District Hospital still incomplete
Work going on at snail’s pace; people aghast, authorities indifferent
Sopore, Apr 25: Twenty eight years after the construction on the Sub-District Hospital (SDH) Sopore in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district was started, the project is still incomplete with work going on at snail’s pace.
The inhabitants of Sopore squarely blame the successive governments for failing to complete the prestigious project during these years saying that the regimes miserably failed to provide the proper healthcare to the residents of the area.
“The foundation stone for the construction of SDH was laid way back in 1984 and since then its awaiting completion,” locals told Greater Kashmir, adding that the construction agency has missed several deadlines with reference to the completion of the project.
“The construction work, which is going on at snail’s pace reflects the vendetta and injustice done by the successive governments with the town. Even the town is neglected and victimized in the healthcare sector. If the work continues to go at this pace, then it would take another 20 years more to complete the hospital,” the locals told Greater Kashmir. “The delay in the completion of the project pooh poohs the government’s tall claims about healthcare being its priority sector,” the residents said.
The residents said that they raised the issue about slow progress of work with the Minster for Health, senior functionaries of the district administration, Department of Health Services Kashmir many a times. “We submitted several representations to the officials seeking expediting of work on the project and completion of buildings at an earliest, but out repeated please have fallen to deaf ears,” the locals said.
At present SDH is functioning from the Out Patient Department (OPD) of the under construction hospital. The OPD was inaugurated by then Chief Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad in 2007.
A look at the status of different works reveals that only the OPD block and secondary buildings like Medical Superintendent’s quarter, garage and AVR building have been completed. While, work on majors buildings, including In Patient Department (IPD) Operation Theatre, Service block and Nursing block is still under progress.
According to the medicos, the paucity of space was adversely affecting the patient care in the hospital. “It is impossible to cater to the increasing rush of patients coming from different districts and remote areas within this limited space,” the medicos said.
“The hospital was named after Sofi Muhammad Akbar, but that name was struck down by authorities,” locals said, adding that they had wished the hospital should be named after the noted resistance leader, Sofi.
While the sub-district hospital was shifted to the under constructed building, the existing structure of the hospital at Iqbal Market was designated as children and maternity care hospital.
“Having the distinction of being the maiden children hospital in the area, the situation in the hospital is grim with minimal funds given for its development.” “Despite hundreds of patients visiting the hospital on daily basis, the hospital lacks basic healthcare facilities,” said a visitor.
People have demanded that the hospitals should be developed at a faster pace. "Patients not only from Sopore but far-off areas visit the hospital. However, the facilities are minimal as compared to other towns,” said president Traders Federation Muhammad Ashraf Ganai, adding that it was due to government’s step motherly treatment towards this town.
Sources said that there was lack of medicines and staff in the children hospital.
According to sources, nearly 100 posts of medicos and paramedics are vacant in the SDH and adjoining health centres.
The data reveals that 13 out of 15 posts of specialists are vacant in SDH Sopore, which receives around 800 patients everyday.
“Out of 49 posts of assistant surgeons, 21 are vacant. Besides this, the hospitals are also grappling with the shortage of paramedical staff like nurses, technicians, with 83 of these posts still unfilled.”
When contacted, Block Medical Officer, Dr Muhammad Syed Masoodi said the shortcomings would be addressed soon after the construction work in finished. "Sopore has a population of three lakh people and at least 1300 to 140 patients visit the hospitals on the daily basis," he said.
The BMO said ward blocks was under construction and after its completion people would not face any inconvenience. "There will be availability of beds for almost 100 patients.”
Compiled by Ghulam Muhammad
Lastupdate on : Wed, 25 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 25 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 26 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST
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