For a population of around four lakh souls, the government has posted one orthopedic and one ENT specialist in northern Kashmir’s Bandipora district.
As per official records, Bandipora has 102 health facilities including the district hospital, two sub-district hospitals, three community health centers, 27 new primary health centers and 71 sub-centers.
While the orthopedic is posted at SDH Hajan, the ENT Specialist is posted at SDH Sumbal.
The posts of these specialists are vacant at other health facilities for the past many years, said an official. Even these positions are vacant at the district hospital for the past several months.
The non-availability of the doctors is forcing the patients to travel more than 50 km to Srinagar for treatment.
Mushtaq Ahmed, a resident of Plaan Bandipora who suffered fracture in his right leg said he was forced to visit Srinagar hospital for the treatment in absence of the specialist in the district.
Ahmed suffered the injury when he slipped in the bathroom a few days ago. Writhing in pain, he was rushed to the district hospital.
“But the doctors at the hospital referred me to Srinagar’s Bone & Joint hospital since there was no specialist doctor at the hospital,” said Ahmed.
The government’s failure to fill up the vacant posts of ENT specialists at the district hospital too has evoked resentment among locals.
“The entire population is suffering owing to negligence of the authorities to fill up the posts. We appeal the authorities to fill up these positions on priority basis,” said Ghulam Rasool , a resident of Bandipora town.
The Chief Medical Officer, Bandipora, Dr Tajamul said they have already taken up the issue with the higher authorities.
“We are hopeful these positions will be filled soon,” he said.