Kulgam: The dearth of doctors in District Hospital Kulgam is severely hitting the patient care in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district with the vital operation theatres remaining functional for barely six hours.
A health official said that this hospital was a district hospital only on papers but in reality was still functioning as a Sub District Hospital (SDH).
“In 2007, after Kulgam was declared as the district, only the name of the hospital was changed from SDH Kulgam to DH Kulgam. However, the staff strength remains the same,” he said.
An official said the hospital has only 33 sanctioned posts for doctors out of which only 13 are specialists and rest medical officers.
“Even out of this sanctioned staff, a post of a senior consultant specialist and a medical officer is lying vacant,” he said.
An official said that several doctors that mostly comprise medical officers posted in different blocks of the district are working on a temporary arrangement in the hospital.
“The vital Gyneacology Department is run by only two consultants sanctioned for the hospital, three medical officers, and two more appointed through NHM,” he said. “Barely any cesareans are done in the hospital during night hours. Hence the pregnant ladies opt for Anantnag Maternity Hospital or city hospitals during delivery, overburdening them further.”
The health official said there are two sanctioned consultant posts for surgery.
“One consultant, a junior consultant, and three medical officers are working on a temporary arrangement. Even the minor surgeries are referred and any accident case from 4 pm onwards till 10 am next day is not admitted at all,” he said.
“There is only one consultant orthopedician post sanctioned for the hospital,” the doctor said.
He said, similarly, one ENT consultant post was lying vacant and only one ENT specialist assisted by two odd medical officers managed the section.
“There is one sanctioned post for consultant ophthalmology and one medical officer whose original posting is in Yaripora run by the department,” the health official said.
He said that in addition to a medical officer only two consultant physicians are sanctioned for the hospital while another one is working on an attachment basis.
“The pediatric section of the hospital is run by a single consultant pediatrician and few odd medical officers hitting the child care severely,” the health official said.
The absence of specialist radiologists forces the patients to undergo investigations and subsequent treatment in private clinics or city hospitals.
“It is ironic that despite the hospital being equipped with USG, CT scan, not a single post has been sanctioned for radiology and three medical officers, two of who are with diplomas, are managing the section which witnesses huge rush of patients,” a doctor posted in the hospital said.
He said that in absence of sonologists even the pregnant ladies prefer to go for USG outside.
The health official said that the anesthesia section has two sanctioned consultants while two others were working on attachment basis.
“The only sanctioned post for psychiatry is yet to be filled,” he said.
The health official said that there was also a dearth of dental surgeons in the hospital.
Medical Superintendent of the Hospital Dr Gulzar Ahmad acknowledged the dearth of sanctioned posts for doctors in the hospital.
“The sanctioned staff of the hospital is still that of a Sub District Hospital. However, we have taken up the issue with the higher authorities and expect a positive response,” he said. “The lack of manpower in the Surgery Department including the paramedic technical staff is the reason for surgeries not being conducted from evening to morning. However, we conduct caesareans in the hospital in the evening and night hours.”