Kulgam district hospital’s operation theatre functions only 10 hours

Shortage of doctors hits healthcare, increases referrals
Kulgam district hospital’s operation theatre functions only 10 hours
Representational PicDr Vivek Bindal/Website

Kulgam, Aug 20: The dearth of doctors in District Hospital Kulgam is severely hitting patient care in this south Kashmir district with the vital operation theatres remaining functional for barely 10 hours.

A health official said the hospital had only 33 sanctioned posts for doctors of which only 14 were specialists while the rest were medical officers.

“Even out of this sanctioned staff, three posts of consultant specialists are vacant,” he said.

An official said 19 doctors that mostly comprise medical officers posted in different blocks of the district were working on temporary arrangements in the hospital.

He said these include 11 medical officers working under the National Rural Health Mission (NHM).

“The vital gynecology department is run by only two consultants sanctioned for the hospital, three medical officers with diplomas and another doctor appointed through NHM,” he said. “No cesarean is done in the hospital from 8 pm. Hence the pregnant women opt for Anantnag Maternity Hospital or city hospitals during delivery overburdening these hospitals further.”

The health officials said that even there were only three sanctioned consultant posts for surgery.

“Three medical officers are working on a temporary arrangement. Even the minor surgeries are referred and any accident case from 8 pm onwards till 10 am next day are not admitted at all,” he said.

The consultant orthopedician post sanctioned in the hospital is lying vacant and only two medical officers manage the vital section,” the doctor said.

He said the ENT consultant post was also lying vacant and two medical officers managed the section.

“There is only one sanctioned post for consultant ophthalmology,” the health official said.

He said only three consultant physicians were sanctioned for the hospital.

“The pediatric section of the hospital is run by a single consultant pediatrician and two medical officers, hitting the child care severely,” the health official said.

The absence of specialist radiologists forces the patients to undergo investigations and subsequent treatment in private clinics or city hospitals.

“It is ironic that despite the hospital being equipped with USG and CT scan not a single post has been sanctioned for radiology and three medical officers, two of whom are diploma holders, are managing the section which witnesses huge rush of patients,” the doctor posted at the hospital said.

He said that in the absence of sonologists even the pregnant women prefer to go for USG outside.

The health official said that the anesthesia section has two sanctioned consultants while two others are working on attachment basis.

“The only sanctioned post for psychiatry - medical officer - is yet to be filled,” he said.

The health official said that only two dental surgeons were available in the hospital.

Medical Superintendent of the hospital Dr Muzafar Zargar said that for theatres to run round-the-clock would need more manpower.

However, he said that the referrals were only done in emergency cases.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Kulgam, Dr Rafiq Dhobi acknowledged the dearth of sanctioned posts for the doctors in certain departments.

“We are working on posting more gynecologists, anesthetists and pediatricians so that the maternity section of the hospital runs round-the-clock,” he said.

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