The shifting of the Bandipora hospital from cramped up structures to the new building has brought cheers among the local population but the dearth of staff continues to be a cause of concern.
Equipped with latest machinery and modern operation theatres, which the administration claims are not found anywhere across the hospitals in districts, people in this north Kashmir district rejoiced when the hospital was shifted to the new building after a decade-long wait.
However, the unchanged staff has been a headache for both the administration as well as the people coming for treatment.
Apart from the shortage of medical officers and specialists, the lack of paramedical staff has marred the functioning of the district hospitals.
An official said against the 97 sanctioned posts in the hospital, the institution has 33 vacant posts.
He said against sanctioned seven doctors, the hospital runs with three medical officers and is short of specialist doctors including ENT specialist, orthopedic surgeon, radiologist, dermatologist and sonologist while there is almost no staff for sanitisation of the hospital.
After hectic negotiations and public protests, the hospital was finally fully shifted to the new building at Nusoo earlier this month.
An official said the dialysis unit, five ventilators and the blood bank installed at the new facility have no paramedical staff.
“Resultantly, a large number of patients have to seek treatment at hospitals in Srinagar or other districts, making the chronically-ill patients travel long distances,” said a local, Mohsin Lone.
Moreover, emergency power line (hotline) is yet to be connected to the hospital while lifts too are not operational.
“The operation theatres are on the top floor and going upstairs for patients is suffocating,” an attendant at the hospital said urging the authorities to make lifts functional.
Acknowledging the shortage of staff and specialised doctors, Medical Superintendent, District Hospital Bandipora, Bashir Ahmad told Greater Kashmir that the shortage of medical officers was a “big problem” as the hospital needed at least 25 medical officers for its smooth functioning.
He said the district administration had also made funds available for the hotline and that tenders would soon be floated.
Earlier, Financial Commissioner Atul Duloo promised to fulfill the requirements of the hospital in due course of time.