Indifferent healthcare system in J&K 

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Indifferent healthcare system in J&K 

Committed focus, dedicated management needed 

Shabeer Ahmad

The people of J&K have realized in recent times that the health care system of Union Territory of JK requires an exhaustive overhaul in terms of infrastructure and professional expertise to take on the challenges of ongoing pandemic without neglecting delivery of minimum health care service to dependent citizens.

It is observed that the real time efficacy of the health care set up across the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir could not prove its worth leaving poor people to fend for themselves. Health care sector across of the Union Territory is largely being managed by government and it lacks private participation to share the responsibility and afford quality health care at comparable cost to needy patients. This is achieved either through Private Health Insurances or recently introduced six Health Insurance schemes launched by Government of India.

People Face Neglect At Govt Hospitals

Given scenario therefore resulted in absolute neglect of poor people at government run hospitals especially during ongoing pandemic and compelled them to either suffer loss of their nears and dears or spend their hard earned savings on treatment of family members outside the union territory of JK.

The issue has been given adequate media coverage time and again both through editorials and main news columns but could hardly achieve substantial results than mere visits of the facilities by concerned officials including Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, in some cases.

It emerges that inadequate Health Facilities available across the regions compelled Health Department of the recently formed UT Administration to suspend normal and specialized consultation and care of Indoor and Outdoor patients till recent times in government hospitals in view of COVID. That consequentially affected patients and their positivity to fight sickness. Loss of life in any case is irreparable for family as well as the state at large.

Inadequate infrastructure, low professional competence

We are required to see through Health care system to pin point the deficiency for healthy future plans both in terms of infrastructure and professional expertise. Entire system has been exposed adequately during COVID management and it is amply clear that health care sector of the UT suffers inadequacy both in terms of infrastructure and professional competence. The system needs efficient management at higher level to ensure strict adherence to guidelines with zero tolerance for lack of accountability on the part of senior medical professionals and other responsible administrators.

Deficit and faulty management

Issue of volunteer resignation opted by Principal Medical College Jammu and public cry against Private Practice by senior medical professionals, in recent times, speaks eloquently about deficit and faulty management of public health care system. It also highlights the involvement of local government officials that allowed serious lapses to creep in the system. Critical analysis of the health care set up indicates that there is hardly any dependable medical facility created at district level to evoke confidence amongst local people for decongesting the pressure on Medical College Hospitals at Jammu and Srinagar.

Poor Patients Suffer 

It is heartening to note that poor patients from the rural areas suffer inability of the system in ensuring minimum health care services across regions of the union territory that compels affected patients and their family members to either witness illness of the patient helplessly or rush him to any private health care facility available in the neighboring states/UTs.

At the same time it is felt that critical audit of the resources and their optimum exploitation may bring some solace to the common people. It calls for a dedicated drive by the Health Department officials of the Union Territory to redraw their plans for utilization of the available men, material and technology to accommodate recently encountered shortfalls in terms of medical professionals, biomedical laboratories, oxygen generating plants and other lifesaving drugs and devices.

We need SOPs in healthcare

Adversity always dawns uninformed. Iit therefore cautions us to frequently practice set Standard Operating Procedures to nullify the effect of such medical disasters. As it is impracticable to build robust health care system overnight especially in terms of infrastructure and super specialized competence, we may adequately equip our professionals to form a dedicated team of expertise involving reputed private hospitals across India. The ongoing Pandemic has taught us hard ways and challenged our pool of knowledge causing unbearable loss of lives.

People in far flung areas badly neglected 

To be specific with regard to JK UT, we feel that people of rural far-flung mountainous areas are badly neglected. There are places where system has failed to position even one doctor and one para medical staff on regular basis and the situation becomes more challenging in absence of any approachable private facility in the area. It is also a fact that health care set up of the UT is mainly run by the local administration. A dedicated drive to study the utilization of medical professionals especially recently graduated doctors and para medical staff from government medical colleges for positioning them in rural areas for a compulsory tenure to qualify appearing in the entrance test for further study may ease out the situation and in turn provide field experience to these young doctors before they latch on to specialization and super specialization studies in government medical colleges/discounted sponsorships.

Honest, dedicated efforts

It is an earnest urge and plea to the concerned officials that let us not allow any more life to go waste. Honest and dedicated efforts on our part today would certainly help us creating well equipped health care system with rejuvenated and reenergized competence to earn the confidence of the people afresh. Government of JK UT may also create competitive environment for private enterprises to join health care sector to allow benefits of latest knowledge in the field to commoners at affordable cost like other neighboring parts of India.


Honest and dedicated efforts on our part today would certainly help us creating well equipped health care system with rejuvenated and reenergized competence to earn the confidence of the people afresh


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