J&K hospitals face staff deficiency

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Creation of doctors, paramedic posts awaits Govt approval

Ishtyaq Ahmad

Srinagar, Jul 17: With the health institutions in the state facing a severe shortage of manpower, the health department’s proposal for creation of new posts of doctors, paramedics in the state awaits government’s approval.
Sources said that Health Department had given nod for creation of new posts for doctors and paramedics in Jammu and Kashmir last year. “We had sent file for creation of new posts to health department in civil secretariat. The same was forwarded to finance department for final approval, however we have not received any clearance in this regard yet,” one of the top officials of the DHSK wished not to be named said.
Official sources said the doctor patient ratio in J&K is 1:2104 as against the recommendations of World Health Organization (WHO) of 1:1000, which is grossly in-sufficient.
“The Health department over the years has seen less recruitment of doctors thereby letting patients suffer. The doctors are also unwilling to serve in remote areas and instead prefer to serve in urban areas and many give up their jobs to move outside the state,” an official said.
The Health and Medical Education Department recently directed officers that they should ensure that the places where two or more persons have been posted against one sanctioned post, “the one who have a longer stay should be transferred out only if he/she has completed a minimum tenure of two years there”.
“All such doctors-paramedics hospitals staff except for those appointed under RBA/ALC categories and serving in such areas who have completed more than five years of tenure in a health institution, shall be shifted and action shall be taken under rules,” a recent circular of the government said.
Meanwhile, sources said that government is likely to go for a major reshuffle to strengthen the understaffed health care centres in far-flung areas in J&K.
“Those doctors who have served in cities only will be sent to rural areas to strengthen the understaffed hospitals in rural areas. Every doctor has to serve now some time in rural area,” one of the officials in the health department said.
The official said there was a shortage of over 1500 doctors in rural areas of the state. “There is a sanctioned strength nearly 1500 doctors for valley hospitals run by the Directorate of Health Services, Kashmir (DHSK) but only 900 doctors are available for duty while rest are either absent or deputed on choice postings in Medical Colleges and other departments,” sources maintained. (KNS)