Still more needs to be done

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Still more needs to be done

Shabeer Ahmad

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha led J&K government has rightly set itself on the mission to ease patients and provide them health facilities at their doorsteps. The health authorities will do well to keep their focus sustained on rural healthcare so that the rush to health facilities in cities and towns is lessened with each passing day. By strengthening rural healthcare, the authorities can focus on enhancing tertiary-care facilities in cities and towns for the benefit of patients.

People living in the rural areas of Jammu and Kashmir are being provided with the same medical facilities that are available in cities now. All credit goes to the administration led Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.

The government constructed dispensaries in far-flung areas and also providing high-standard medical equipment to these primary health hospitals. J&K Lieutenant Governor (LG) Manoj Sinha this year inaugurated several facilities like dialysis centres, geriatric wards in almost every district hospital.

The Jammu and Kashmir government with the help of the World Bank has been able to upgrade the medical Infrastructure in the Kashmir Valley. The people from rural areas had to come to the city for emergency cases. The inflow to the tertiary hospitals had increased many folds due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The doctors working in these rural areas have appreciated the step and say that it will help them in treating patients in these primary care centres, district hospitals etc. Earlier any patient requiring high oxygen supply would be sent to a tertiary hospital in Srinagar or Jammu.

The installation of various vital medical equipment at these medical care facilities in the far flung areas of Jammu and Kashmir will benefit the people and also take off the load of tertiary hospitals.

The J&K government has established more than 2200 Health and Wellness Centres (H&WC) besides releasing funding worth Rs 2800 crore in order to strengthen the rural health care centres and augment the infrastructure as well. The official figures reveal that around 2224 Health and Wellness Centres have been established in Jammu and Kashmir during the last four years.

Over the past many years, the hospitals and government medical colleges would receive referral cases owing to the non-availability of the health centres or healthcare facilities in the rural areas.

The unnecessary referrals would always overburden the doctors and paramedics at premiere hospitals in the City as the patients would not get treatment for their ailments in district hospitals.

The new infrastructure has been built at a cost of Rs 7177 crore. Around 140 projects have been completed by spending Rs 881 crore to strengthen basic health facilities in all the districts.

The upgrading and improving healthcare facilities at district level was evident during the first and second wave of Covid-19 in J&K. There were very less referrals of Covid-19 patients to tertiary care hospitals besides the capacity of wards was also enhanced at a large scale as well due to which the covid positive patients were admitted in the concerned sub-district or district hospitals.

But at same time the people want more up-gradation of the rural healthcare sector. Now almost there is hardly an delay in improving the infrastructure , but these intuitions should be provided with adequate staff.

The residents have started building pressure on the government to equip these health care institutes instead of only focusing on hospitals in towns and cities.

Serious efforts need to be taken by the government where the patient care gets hit due to non-availability of facilities or lack of staff, resulting in unnecessary referrals to hospitals in the city.

Secondly, the government should ensure that each healthcare institute gets adequate staff to cater to the patient rush in these far off areas of south Kashmir and other frontier districts as well.

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