Pulwama 9 July, 2020
Health care system in kashmir valley continues to consume lives be it pre COVID-19 or post COVID-19. Much has been talked and reported about the health care system of landlocked valley but the ground realities continues to be bad to worse.
The local and national news platforms have continuously carried features regarding the poor healthcare system of the valley.
It seems all the past elected governments had had not taken the healthcare system in their serious thoughts.
Hardly any political party may have made a note of it in their election manifesto.
Day in and out we read or hear the ordeal of patients who suffer due to negligence of basic health care system in district as well as state hospitals.
There are hundreds of stories carried in local and national newspapers and other online web portals about the health setup in the valley. Some of the reports say that there are very less doctors who can cater the population of around 1.40 crore across the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Few of the reports suggest that their is lack of proper healthcare facilities like ICU’s, X ray machines, and other testing machines be at tehsil, sub- district, district levels. Even most of the districts have no Emergency/ trauma centres.
Kashmir valley has 50 sub- District Hospitals (SDH/CHC), 232 Primary Health Centres (PHC/ MMC) and 1468 Sub-centres and majority of them lack basic care facilities.
Patients in villages or district hospital levels are the worst sufferers as they are being always reffered to city hospitals albeit they could be easily treated at PHC or district hospitals. Most of the times the patients dies on a way to Srinagar city hospitals.
Majority of valley based renowned doctors have expressed their view of strengthening healthcare system in Valley by strengthening PHC’ s and district hospitals as they lack in gynaecologists, radiologists, technicians, qualified pathologists and basic infrastructure.
Reports also suggest that the doctor-patient ratio in Jammu and Kashmir is among the lowest in India and the new doctors continue to struggle to get into the system.
According to a Central Board of Health Intelligence, New Delhi report, in 2017, Jammu and Kashmir had one allopathic doctor for 3866 people, against the WHO recommendation of 1: 1000. This ratio does not include the Indian System of Medicine doctors who cannot practice the allopathic system.
Taking the reports into consideration, the most important thing in the healthcare system is the lack of manpower and machinery that is the lack of standard number of doctors and paramedics in Kashmir.
Government and Non-governmental organizations need to focus on the healthcare system of valley as much as possible because the health setup is already suffering or fragile in Valley due to pandemic COVID-19 crises.