Though Jammu & Kashmir Government claims to have taken the basic health care facilities at the doorsteps of the people in villages but inability of the government to upgrade infrastructure in rural hospitals is disputing the claims of the government on the availability of basic health care facilities in villages across Jammu and Kashmir. Though government claims that funds for upgrading infrastructure for both the Health Services & Medical Education sector have been coming under various centrally sponsored schemes but most of the upgraded hospitals are run in private buildings hired by the government for years together . The failure of the government in completing the work on hospital buildings has shockingly disrupted the plans of equipping such hospitals with the infrastructural facilities required for patient care facilities in villages. Since the lack of basic infrastructural facilities has also disrupted the plans of manpower upgradation in the upgraded hospitala particularly the sub district hospitals, and primary health centres, the basic health care delivery system is in shambles. Shockingly the doctor – patient ratio in Jammu and Kashmir is amongst the lowest in India. Against the doctor-patient ratio of 1:2000 in rest of India, J&K has one allopathic doctor for 3,866 people against. Interestingly the WHO norm is 1 doctor for 1,000 souls. The healthcare facilities are so poor even in the district hospitals that majority of the women facing health issues are referred from peripheral hospital to Kashmir valley’s solitary tertiary care maternity hospital – Lal Ded Hospital Srinagar. Shocking it is that even the women who suffer from the basic gynaecological problems are referred to this hospital from the district hospitals.
As long as the focus of the government remains on the concentration of health care facilities in Srinagar, the improvement in rural heathcare facilities will continue to haunt ruralites in Kashmir.
Allegations are galore that over a dozen district hospitals established to reduce the burden on main referral hospitals in Srinagar in the recent years have not made any difference . While none of the district hospitals in Kashmir has a high dependency unit (HDU), not to talk of an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) , the government owes explanations for its failures on this count also. The high dependency unit (HDU) is an area in a hospital where patients can be cared for more intensely than in a normal ward, but not to the level of intensive care unit (ICU) . As long as the focus of the government remains on the concentration of health care facilities in Srinagar and Jammu the twin capital cities, the improvement in rural heathcare facilities will continue to haunt ruralites in Kashmir.