Lack of basic dental procedures at sub-district hospital Kupwara is forcing local patients to visit private clinics or else travel a 100 km distance to reach Dental College Srinagar for treatment.
The locals said the non-availability of the basic dental procedures at the SDH Kupwara has hit the healthcare in the hospital. “Even for a simple X-ray of tooth we have to get it done in the private,” said Ashraf Ahmad, a local resident.
The dental section at the hospital is located in a single room.
“Facing dental ailment, I went to this hospital. After cursory examination, the doctor advised a root canal treatment but said that I had to do it privately or at dental hospital Srinagar as in this hospital does not have this facility,” he said.
“I cannot afford to go to a private clinic for RCT, Ashraf, who is a farmer.
At least 60 patients visit the dental section every day. “Due to the space shortage we hardly manage the flow of patients which directly hits patients care; many procedures are not done here as we don’t have the sufficient space,” said Dr Shameem Ahmad.
He said they have only two chairs in the section. “Yesterday I was extracting a tooth of a patient and his attendant went unconscious. If here we could have separate waiting room, the procedures could be done more easily,” he said.
The patients having the need of tooth replacement or RCT only get medicine for the hospital. “For these dental procedures they have to visit either to private clinics or go to Srinagar dental hospital,” he said.
The residents appealed to the government to look into the issue.
When contacted, Block Medical Officer Kupwara Dr Zaffar Ahmad said there was space issue in the section. “The under-construction building of SDH Kupwara is near completion. Once it is handed over to hospital authorities, space will be provided to the dental section,” he said.