Locals suffer due to unavailability of sufficient staff at SDH Tangdhar

Tasaduq Nabi

Kupwara, Nov 7: Only seven doctors for over 70 thousand people in Sub-District hospital Tangdhar in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district which is facing acute shortage of doctors and up-gradation. The 30-bed SDH in Tangdhar Karnah is the only major health care centre in the region and if there is an emergency, the patients have to take a hilly, rough mountains terrain to another sub district hospital Kupwara for further treatment, which is unaffordable for many.
The Major Health Centre SDH present a grim picture of healthcare as health department has failed to depute doctors to this hospital leaving thousands of people to suffer. SDH Tangdhar caters more than 70 thousand people living in the landlocked valley that is facing acute shortage of doctors and paramedical staff resulting in poor healthcare facilities to its residents.
A medical officer in SDH Tangdhar said that 27 posts of MBBS (Medical officer) are allotted, of which only seven doctors are available (25% doctors are available), 78 paramedical staff are allotted by only eight are available rest are vacant and they are insufficient to cater these health needy people of this far flung area. The hospital has one anaesthetist, a gynaecologist (working round the clock from last 27 years), a physician, two surgeons, two medical officers and a doctor under NRHM. There is no orthopaedic, optholmogist, radiologist, sinologist, neurologist, cardiologist, paediatrician despite 14 per cent of the population comprises of children’s.
As per the population requirement, the SDH inaugurated in 2013 by the then CM Omar Abdullah should be 100-bed with fully equipped diagnostic facilities and trained manpower, “by up gradation the man power will increase, presently it seems that it is not more than a PHC, said Dr. Parvaiz Iqbal who is being posted in the hospital since June 1993, adding “only in five years the building is showing seepage, blockade,” he said.
“If there is any referral to other hospital of the valley, the patient prefer to die as to travel on this accident prone and bumpy road,” said Ishfaq Ahmed, adding, “If it snows and the Tangdhar-Kupwara road gets closed, the situation gets worsened for patients,” Ahmed added.
The patients, who travel from far-off places to this hospital in Karnah, especially during winter, recount that they have to suffer in the absence of facilities. Patients have to buy most of the medicine from the market as there is shortage of medicine in the hospital, “what we have we gave them but those are not enough for these poor and needy people,” said a doctor wishing not to be named. “Government authorities have forgotten this area, when something untoward happens then they visit this far flung area which is suffering in every way,” said Zubair ahmad resident of Tangdhar.
A small beautiful valley Karnah with green meadows in the northwest of Kupwara is situated at a distance of 78 kilometres from district headquarters after crossing the Sadhna Gali of height 10,000 feet with difficult bumpy mountain range pass. A lone gynaecologist posted from last 27 years has performed over 3,000 surgeries. “My family lives in Srinagar. Even if I wish to meet them, I cannot travel as my absence makes things worse in the hospital,” said Dr. Parvaiz Iqbal.
“It was funeral of my father, which I could not attend as that exact time I got a call from hospital for an emergency and I came to look for it,” Iqbal said, adding “I approach the authorities time to time for my transfer but they never pay any heed to my sufferings.” I have many times told to higher authorities to depute doctors on round basis, but they always answer ‘we will’ even no serving doctor of the state’s Health Department is ready to serve in this remote area,” Iqbal said.
When contacted Block medical officer Tangdhar he said, “I cannot comment unless and until you don’t get permission from higher ups,” Dr Shafiq BMO Tangdhar said.(KNO)