Pahalgam residents seek upgradation of dispensary
'Lack of staff affecting patient care'
Pahalgam, Feb 5: Despite being the favorite destination of majority of the tourists visiting Kashmir and the transit point for lakhs of Hindu pilgrims visiting the Amar Nath Shrine annually, this world famous tourist resort is still without a full fledged hospital.
Besides, being the Tehsil headquarters and highly populated and vast area, the government, according to the locals, has never bothered to upgrade the only allopathic dispensary into a Primary Health Centre (PHC) or Community Health Centre (CHC) not to speak of a sub-district hospital.
“Though more than half of the population of Pahalgam Tehsil resides in and around it only, but the government instead of giving priority for setting up of the sub-district hospital in the area preferred Seer Hamdan, which is 30 Kilometers from here and has proximity to Islamabad town,” said a resident Mushtaq Ahmad.
He said, though the CHC’S and PHC’s have even been set-up in small villages, but Pahalgam had been ignored.
The dispensary also caters to the population of the upper areas of Frislan, Aru, Mandilan, Ganeshbal, Mamal, Lidru and other areas too, but the residents say that due to the dearth of staff and machinery, the dispensary, hardly serves any purpose.
“It is very difficult for the people from upper reaches to rush emergency patients or delivery cases to Seer, and most of them die on their way,” said Riyaz Ahmad, another resident.
Furthermore, residents alleged that the doctors and paramedics are deputed in the dispensary only during the annual Yatra period while, the rest of the year, only one doctors and eight paramedics manage the dispensary.
“A lady doctor who was posted here was transferred in August last year and since then there is only one doctor available in the dispensary. At times the paramedic staff manages the Out Patient Department (OPD),” the aggrieved residents told Greater Kashmir.
They said that during Yatra period, doctors compete for posting in Pahalgam as they get every kind of privilege, but as the Yatra concludes, the local patients are left at the mercy of God.
“There are no specialists here and though the dispensary consists of 100 beds, but they are specially meant for the Yatris and not for the local population,” say residents adding that the dispensary is even without an X-ray technician.
The residents are also unhappy over the recent move of the authorities concerned to keep the administrative control of the dispensary with Sallar instead of Mattan. They are also demanding that the dispensary here should be upgraded to emergency hospital or else there should be a separate medical block for Pahalgam.
“As lakhs of tourists and pilgrims arrive here every year so instead of focusing on make shift arrangements during the Yatra period only, the government should establish an emergency hospital here so that tourists, yatris and locals all are equally benefited,” said Muhammad Ibrahim.
M Ibrahim said the operation theatre also remains functional during the Yatra period only.
When contacted, Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Islamabad (Anantnag), Dr. Gulzar Ahmad said, “The proposal for the up gradation of the dispensary to Sub-district hospital has been formulated and the papers have already been moved. This year the hospital is likely to get Community Health Centre (CHC) status.”
However, he said the present infrastructure of the hospital was at par with any sub-district hospital except for the shortage of manpower.
Regarding the shortage of doctors, Dr. Gulzar said, a doctor would be deputed there soon.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 5 Feb 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 5 Feb 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 6 Feb 2012 00:00:00 IST
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