Healthcare politicized?

Valley hospitals on ventilators

Javaid Malik
Publish Date: Dec 12 2012 12:00PM
The dismal picture of the associated hospitals of Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar has sent shock waves across the Valley. It has also negated the tall claim of the government about JK bagging the number one position in health sector in India.
A detailed news story carried by Greater Kashmir - GMC Associated Hospitals in shambles -  by Arshad Hussain, brought to fore the ugly face of JK’s health care. It was shocking to know that oxygen plant of the Valley’s most visited SMHS hospital is almost defunct. Similarly lone maternity health institution of the Valley Lal Ded has no Intensive Care Unit nor does it have a Critical Care Ambulance.
The present National Conference-Congress regime leaves no stone unturned to claim that its major focus is on the health sector and crores are being spent to improve it. But the facts and figures contradict the government claim. Had money been really spent on developing the health sector such facts would not have stared directly into government’s face.
 Earlier this year Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had announced that a new Children Hospital would be constructed in Srinagar and he had sought the Detailed Project Report within 15 days from the Health Ministry. Many months have elapsed since then but till date people don’t know whether the DPR was submitted or not?
One wonders how JK government can claim that health sector is one of the priority sectors. Had it been true, the associated hospitals of the GMC would not have been in shambles. 
 These hospitals have catered to more than 17 lakh patients in 2011-2012. One wonders how come doctors are able to manage so many patients without proper infrastructure and facilities. One needs to give full points to doctors working in these hospitals. Doctors have to face public ire on many occasions due to lack of facilities in the hospital. People need to understand that it is not doctors who are responsible for this pathetic plight of health institutions. Babus behind the scene need to be asked what they are doing and what their job is.
Ministers indulging in a mere rhetoric won’t serve any purpose. Healthcare is the last institution which can be politicized, but in JK it seems to have been politicized to the hilt as politicians who are at the helm ensure that they score a point over their opponents by making tall claims.   
Government has to wake up and act. Mere paperwork and slogans are not going to help anyone’s cause. Politicians need to realize that they are answerable to people and they cannot stay in power forever. The elected representatives of the masses need to realize that winning the elections should not be the only aim. To perform and deliver is the key. But politicians not living up to the expectations of masses have made the people believe that government in JK exists only on papers. It is high time for government to wake up as only two years are left for next assembly elections. Ultimately it’s people who matter and they are the ones who vote. Masses hold key to power and in the recent past they have become very much aware about their rights and are capable enough to assess the performance of any government.
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