Residents of Ashpora and adjoining villages have complained about inadequate healthcare and lack of basic diagnostic facilities at New Type Primary Health Centre (NTPHC) situated in Ashpora village of Langate area of north Kashmir's Handwara sub-district.
The residents said that the health centre was inadequately staffed due to which patient care had been badly hit.
They blamed the concerned authorities for their "insensitive attitude" and alleged that the health centre lacks the basic infrastructure required for its smooth functioning.
The residents said that few paramedical staffers and a lone doctor were posted here which in no way was substantial and was telling upon the smooth functioning of the health centre established five decades ago.
Block Development Council Chairman Qaziabad, Bashir Ahmad Mir said that the centre was of no use due to lack of facilities and dearth of staff.
He said a single doctor and few staff members were not sufficient for over two dozen villages of upper Qaziabad.
"I am unable to figure out how several paramedical staff members are drawing their salary from the health centre but have managed to attach themselves to different health centers and nobody among the authorities dares to make them accountable," Mir said.
He said that due to the lack of diagnostic tests and X-ray facilities here, patients usually prefer to move to District Hospital Handwara or Baramulla which tells upon the inhabitants economically as majority of them belong to labour class.
"Due to non-availability of a gynecologist and female nurse here, pregnancy care is also hit badly and women of the area face severe hardships," Mir said.
He said that he had personally brought all the issues of the hospital into the notice of Director Health Services, Kashmir but till now nothing had happened.
"If a public representative and his pleas are not taken seriously then what general public can anticipate from the authorities," the BDC chairman said.
The residents said that they had been pressing for years for specialised doctors and a gynecologist but to no avail.
"We several times requested the authorities to make this hospital functional 24×7 but every time our request fell to deaf ears," said Rouf Ahmad, a local.
"Few years ago, authorities sanctioned a two-storey building, following which Roads and Buildings department, Handwara division, constructed it but since last two years it has been left without windows and doors which has made it a shelter for stray dogs," said another local, Irshad Ahmad.
The residents requested the concerned authorities and Lieutenant Governor ManojSinha to personally look into the matter and redress their grievances.
Block Medical Officer BMO Langate, DrGowhar said that he had written to the higher ups for augmentation of staff.
Additional District Development Commissioner (ADDC) Kupwara, Muhammed Ashraf said that he would seek a report from the concern Executive Engineer and the matter would be resolved soon.