Revamp Health Sector

Even as swine flu claimed a precious life, the authorities seem in no mood to wake up to the threat. Not just swine flu, are our state hospitals equipped to cater to other needs of the people. The ailing system needs a general overhaul, if not a total revamp. The health care centres across the state are also ill equipped to meet different emerging challenges. According to official data there are 3690 health institutions in the state lacking proper infrastructure and management. It is not only the shortage of doctors or lack of infrastructure that affects health care adversely in this neglected land. The state also lacks sufficient number of nurses to supplement the doctors and the infrastructure. No doubt the successive governments have constructed buildings for health centres; sub district hospitals, district hospitals and trauma hospitals all around the state but the human resource and infrastructure is missing. As per the Medical Council of India directions, there must be a nurse for seven beds but usually a single nurse has to cater to the needs of the entire ward. The condition of government run hospitals is already grim in Jammu and Kashmir. On an average 3,097 persons depend upon one health institution in the state as against 2,662 in 2000-01. As far as the National Rural Health Mission scheme is concerned it has proved a non-starter in the state owing to the fact that medicos engaged under this scheme are reluctant to perform in far flung rural areas. The deaths in Children's hospital a few years ago evoked severe reaction from the public. The superintendent was suspended and a probe ordered into the deaths. A report submitted by the probe committee found transportation of ailing children from far flung areas as one of the reasons for the deaths. This means there is no facility for children at the district level. And the only hospital for the children at Srinagar is not in a position to cater to the needs of the region. The government needs to wake up. There is a lot to be done besides constructing buildings for the hospitals. 

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