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Pahalgam hospital in shambles
Lab-technician conducts X-ray, residents question up-gradation
PAHALGAM, Oct 1: Despite the claims of having raised its status from medical dispensary to sub-district hospital but the health care continues to be in shambles here due to the poor infrastructure and the shortage of staff forcing the patients to move to other hospitals or private clinics of the doctors.

The residents said that the poor health care at the decades old health center in the area continues to add to their woes. “On one hand the authorities from last one year have been claiming that it has been upgraded as the sub-district hospital but the infrastructure and the staff strength continues to remain same here as it was decades ago. The up-gradation of this health center seems to be on papers only,” said a group of residents.

They said that the doctors posted at the dispensary trying their best to handle all the cases but due to the ill infrastructure they are left with no option but to refer most of the cases to other hospitals.

“The hospital caters to at least 25 villages including the main town Pahalgam comprising the population of at least 40 thousands but how can you expect a couple of doctors to cater such a huge population,” said a resident Mushtaq Ahmad Magray. The example of the messy state of health care at the health center is that the X-ray is being conducted by a laboratory technician.

"Though the X-ray machine has been installed in the health center but due to the non-availability of the X-ray technician the X-rays are being done by a laboratory technician which can prove fatal at times for any patient,” said Magray. He said that when he brought the matter into the notice of chief medical officer (CMO) Anantnag he told him that there should be no problem if X-ray is being done by a non-specialist. “ I don’t see any problem in non-specialist doing an X-ray,” Magray quoted CMO as saying.

Another resident said that due to the non-availability of fuel in the generator the patient has to wait for even an entire day for getting the X-ray done. “I was suggested by a doctor to do an X-ray but the Para-medicos in the X-ray section asked me to wait till electricity is restored. When I asked him to use the generator he refused saying they have no fuel to operate the same,” he said.

The residents further alleged that the health center remains functional during the Yatra season only. “When annual Amarnath Yatra begins the authorities deploy huge staff both medical and Para-medical to the health center but once the pilgrimage is over all the staff is sent back. Even operation theatre is being set up at the health center during Yatra. So if it is meant for the pilgrims only authorities should openly announce the same. They should not be-fool the people by claiming its up-gradation while addressing the public rallies,” said another resident Ghulam Nabi.

When contacted CMO, Anantnag, Dr Gulzar, said that though the dispensary has been upgraded under NRHM scheme but due to the high court ban on the constructions in Pahalgam they are not able to start the construction work on the building. “3 crore rupees have already been sanctioned for the new building. Once the building is constructed the other infra-structure will also be raised. Even then we have deployed four doctors there to provide better health care facilities to the patients,” CMO said.

Admitting that a Lab-technician is doing X-ray in the hospital CMO said, “ Due to the shortage of X-ray technicians we have trained the Lab-technician posted there who is now conducting X-rays also,”.

News Updated at : Tuesday, October 2, 2012
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