3 decades on, Health Department fails to upgrade Kupwara SDH

Shortage Of Staff, Equipment Hits Patient-Care



Srinagar, Jan 1: Inadequate staff and shortage of vital equipments is taking a toll on patient-care at the Kupwara Sub-District Hospital. The Health Department has failed to upgrade the health institute to enable it to cater to the ever-increasing rush of patients.
 The hospital is facing shortage of doctors and paramedical staff while the administration is unmoved on the issue. “The hospital has only eight doctors including some borrowed ones from other health centers who visit the hospital on shift-basis once or twice a week. It affects the patient-care badly,” said a medico there.
 In absence of necessary staff, the hospital is completely run by ISM doctors, especially during night hours. 
 The SDH caters to a population of over 4 lakh from Kupwara town and its adjoining areas like Hayhama, Halmatpora, Kalaroos, Lolab, Kralpora and Chowkibal. Besides, patients are also referred from remote areas like Tangdhar, Teetwal, Keran, Jummagund, Kamkadi and Machil.
 “It has been 33 years since Kupwara became a district but the sub-district hospital is yet to be upgraded. The hospital continues to be housed in the same building since its establishment while the patient rush has increased manifold,” locals said.
 The new 200-bed up-gradation project on a proposed land has also been grounded as the construction work has been put off. “It could not come up more than a plinth level since 2010,” the locals said.
 They said the state government’s indifference towards the hospital is causing a lot of problems to patients and attendants. Around 4000 patients visit the SDH on an average every month.
 The hospital is yet to establish a full-fledged neonatal care unit to decrease the risk factor of newborn babies.
 At a time when the Health Department is facing criticism over poor childcare in the Valley hospitals, pediatric health care is worst hit in the Kupwara SDH as it functions without any related infrastructure, sources said.
 “There are no emergency equipments including the ventilators in the Emergency ward. The testing lab is also running short of reagents which affects the patient-care badly. The people have to either burden their pockets for undergoing tests from private labs or forget about conducting them,” they said.
 The hospital also lacks backup generator and heating system. In winter season patients spend time under candle light, shivering in cold.
 Most of the posts of children specialists are also lying vacant in Langate, Zachaldara, Kralpora, Tanghdar, Kralgund, Sogam and Trehgam. This is despite the fact that the district has the second highest child population in Kashmir.
 “Nearly 10 posts, including paramedical, nursing and class-IV, are vacant in the hospital and the present staff is unable to cater to the huge rush of patients,” sources said.
 They said the hospital does not have trained staff to run X-ray and Ultrasound machines and lab equipments.
 An official wishing anonymity said the health department has failed to create additional posts to look after the growing patient rush.
 As a result, most of the ailing children are referred to GB Pant and other hospitals of the Srinagar city.
 “If an ailing child is referred from Keran, Kamakdi or Teetwal to Srinagar, it takes him more than 10 hours to reach the city. And in such cases, chances of survival are very less. That is why there is need of child specialists in peripheral hospitals,” said the locals.
 When contacted, the Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman said the up gradation plan for the hospital has already been drafted. “There are certain issues that are taking time to finalize the plan but let us hope the New Year comes as a ray of hope,” he said

Lastupdate on : Tue, 1 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 1 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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