District Hospital Handwara which witnesses a huge rush of patients every day is understaffed for several years with 48 posts of doctors and paramedics lying vacant.
The dearth of staff in hospital has severely hit the patient care and the available staff here remains overburdened.
An official communiqué suggests that of the total 47 sanctioned posts of doctors, only 29 are in position while 18 are lying vacant.
According to the communiqué, one post each of senior consultant surgery and senior consultant medicine are lying vacant.
Similarly, of the three allotted posts of consultant surgery, one is vacant while among the three consultant medicine doctors, one is attached to Sub District Hospital Kupwara.
Among the three allotted consultant gynecologists, one is lying vacant, leaving the other two consultants overburdened as this section witnesses huge rush of patients not only from Kupwara district but also from adjoining areas of district Baramulla.
Of the three sanctioned posts of consultant anaesthetists, two are vacant.
The two allotted posts of consultant orthopedics have not been filled even after the passage of several years, resulting in severe hardships to the patients.
For two days in a week, the orthopedics section is run by an MBBS doctor having a diploma in orthopedics, while for the remaining four days, physiotherapists run the section on a rotational basis.
The single post of consultant pathology is lying vacant since many years.
In ophthalmology, both consultant surgeon and ‘A’ grade specialist posts are lying vacant, leaving patients to suffer.
To overcome the crisis, the hospital administration is utilising the services of an ophthalmologist from Sub District Hospital Langate who visits DH Handwara on first three days of every week.
To make things worse, among the 21 sanctioned posts of medical officers, eight are lying vacant while one doctor has been unauthorised absent from duties.
Furthermore, the hospital is facing acute shortage of junior nurses with 11 posts lying vacant out of the total 19 sanctioned posts.
Four posts of junior anesthesia assistants, one head dental technician and five posts of sweepers are also lying vacant.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Medical Superintendent District Hospital Handwara, Dr Nisar Ahmad Wani said that he had written for augmentation of staff to higher ups and hopefully some tangible and concrete steps would be taken in this regard.
Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr Sameer Matoo told Greater Kashmir that he would look into the matter.