Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir’s Department of Health and Medical Education on its website has a lofty proclamation that says the department “is aimed at bringing about dramatic improvement in the health system and the health status of people, especially those living in rural areas.”
However, this remains a claim as long queues, which extend to metres are constantly made to suffer at Government-run Trauma Hospital in north Kashmir’s Pattan town of Baramulla district.
Unable to find a professional dental doctor, the pain-hit patients and their family members often spend hours outside, waiting for the doctor to arrive.
“ Instead of a professional doctor, a technician (Arshid Hussain Wani), hired by Dr Masrat Iqbal wani (BMO Pattan) under Hospital Development Fund (HDF) treats patients and even gives medicines, without having a BDS degree.”
“We have come all the way from Behrampora to get a treatment here,” said Rafeeq Ahmad, who constantly kept his one hand at his ached tooth.
As a result of this, patients bear the brunt of poor health facilities. Moreover, one of the dental doctors, Dr Mehmooda, attend the hospital for just three days in a week, local residents alleged.
Sources inside the hospital told GMK that the permanent doctor who are paid thousands of rupees by government usually take 3 days of leave in a week.
The nexus in healthcare system in the state makes it worse for both the patients and the doctors. While a doctor at the hospital is usually absent and non professionals technicians are asked to treat patients.
“This happens on a regular basis. This is a burden to the poor people, who come here for treatment but leave empty handed” a doctor (who requested anonymity) told Good Morning Kashmir Correspondent.
In every corner of Trauma Hospital Pattan, beautiful flowers have been plastered on the floor, while as the J&K government’s tall claims for patient care and their relatives in government hospitals turn out nothing but a lie.
“Patients travel a lot and then if we tell them that this doctor is not available, they will be agitated,” a senior doctor of the hospital said.
“There is supposed to be a dental Doctor available all the time. But here it’s missing. How can we solve this problem unless the hired doctor will not turn up to her duty?”
“You see a lot of pain, and that affects you considerably, forget relaxation,” said Zubair , another patient standing in the queue.
Although the health department emphasizes on the health status of people, the countryside is poorly served, as healthcare facilities, both public and private, are largely concentrated in the various district hospitals of the valley.
“The doctor is already there,however, she is never available for days ,” said Gowhar Ahmad, a local resident.
Reports of patients facing the situation due to the absence of Dr Mehmooda triggers anger whenever a patient goes through avoidable agony because of her absence.
Chief Medical Officer of Baramulla when contacted said that strict action will be taken against those who are violating the norms in Trauma Hospital Pattan, but declined to discuss or answer specific questions that were based on inputs from the residents of the area.
Director health services Kashmir, Dr Kunzes Dolma also said that a committee will be set-up to investigate the matter.