Kupwara: The residents of Monbal and adjacent villages have expressed resentment against authorities for failing to keep health facilities available round the clock at New Type Primary Health Centre (NTPHC) Monbal thus putting them into a lot of hardships.
They said that a few weeks ago a four year boy was mauled to death by a man-eating leopard. “Had the night staff been available here, he could have been saved. We had to take him to Primary Health Centre Qalamabad for treatment by covering some 15 kms and due to loss of blood, the minor Saqib could not be saved,” said a local.
“Even though authorities have ordered the detachment of health employees back to their original place of posting but only one employee has joined back at NTPHC Monbal and others including dental surgeon, lab technician, dental technician and others have not yet joined back,” said another local.
The residents alleged that these employees were drawing salary from NTPHC Monbal but have been performing duties at the places of their choice. “The concerned authorities have taken us for granted and have never upgraded facilities for the locals over here,” he added.
The residents are also anguished for lack of diagnostic facilities. They said that although a laboratory was available in the hospital but since the lab technician was transferred from here, his replacement was yet to be made. They said that for even a small test they have to visit Qalamabad to carry out the test.
“Keeping in view the topography of our area, authorities should have installed an X-ray plant here so that miseries of people could have ended but don’t know why authorities are not upgrading facilities here even after the hospital was upgraded decades ago,” they said.
District Development Council Member (DDC) Mawer Khurshid Ahmad Dar told Greater Kashmir that since Monbal and its adjacent areas happen to be heavy snowbound and during winters it becomes difficult for people to carry patients to Qalamabad or Handwara for treatment.
“I am unable to figure out why authorities are reluctant to fill the posts of doctors and paramedics here. Out of four doctors, only one is in position while three are vacant. The claims of improved health facilities in rural areas fall flat here as the people are really suffering with regard to lack of proper health care,” he added.
“Even residential quarters have already been built for doctors but still this hospital has not been made functional during nights, which tells about the callous attitude of health officials,” DDC Member said.