PHCs in Kulgam operate from rented buildings

Greater Kashmir

In 2005, the government took up the construction of the Primary Health Center (PHC) building in Aakhran-Novpora village of Devsar in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district. The building was completed and handed over to the Health department after a couple of years. Twelve years on, the hospital, earlier designated as sub-center, continues to function from an old dilapidated building crammed in three small rooms.

“Forget patients, the hospital has no place for doctors and paramedics to sit,” said a medico.

He said that the authorities not shifting the hospital to the new building was beyond their understanding.

Locals rue that the two-storey new hospital building was being used by the gamblers and drug addicts.

“The youth indulging in immoral activities from gambling to drug abuse can be spotted inside this building,” an elderly local, Muhammad Sultan said.

He said they had, time and again, pleaded to the authorities to shift the hospital but to no avail.

“In absence of proper infrastructure in the hospital, we are forced to send patients to District Hospital Kulgam even for minor ailments,” Sultan said.

Chief Medical Officer, Kulgam, DrFazilKochak said, “The new building suffered some damage in 2014 floods. When I took over in 2018, we wrote to the concerned agency for carrying the repair work but they sent an estimate of Rs 18 lakh for it.”

DrKochak said that the building only requires repair work before it is shifted and would not cost much.

R&B and JKPCC handed over several incomplete hospital buildings in the district to the Health department. Among them is PHC Muhammadpora.

“The concerned agency had only completed a single story when it handed over the building to the health authorities. Later, despite drawing all funds, they left the work incomplete,” a medic said. “The hospital lacks space to treat the patients and for installing diagnostic equipment.”

Similarly, an incomplete PHC in Devsar was also handed over to the health department.

Two of the buildings of PHC Kelam are being used as accommodation by the flood victims of 2014.

“It has been more than six years now and the flood victims have not been shifted from there,” said a medic.