Almost a decade after the announcement regarding the construction of Children hospital at Bemina, the facility will see the light of the day on September 26. It missed quite a few deadlines in the past. The first deadline was missed in 2014, the second in 2017, and the third in 2018. However in July last year, the Administrative Council headed by Lieutenant Governor took note of the project missing several deadlines and approved construction of an exclusive pediatric hospital at Bemina. Initially it was tipped to be a 200-bed maternity and 250-bed children hospital. After the AC, the highest decision making body of the government, gave its nod, the work on the facility commenced and the project is ready to be opened on ensuing Monday.
Machinery and other equipment have been shifted to the hospital. From next week the Out Patient Department and admissions at GB Pant hospital at Sonawar in Srinagar will be closed and at the same time, admission of patients will start at children hospital Bemina.
From the last few years, the government has bettered the healthcare ecosystem including child care and maternity facilities in Jammu and Kashmir. The Administrative Council in July this year approved a proposal of the Health and Medical Education Department to construct a 100-bedded Mother & Child Health Care Hospital at Lamberi Rajouri. Besides MCH services, the hospital will also provide general healthcare and accidental services to the common masses besides serving the emergent health needs of tourists and pilgrims.
The AC also approved up-gradation of the 30-bedded Community Health Centre at Billawar, Kathua to a 100- bedded Sub-District Hospital at an estimated cost of Rs. 28.18 crore. The project will be completed in the financial year 2023-24.
These projects will strengthen the healthcare services of the areas and help increase life expectancy and decrease IMR/ MMR in the region, the government underlined. These decisions are welcome on part of the government. Building quality infrastructure is very important. All places including the far-flung areas need to have adequate, affordable, and reliable healthcare facilities.
While the administration has taken many steps towards reducing the gap between rural and urban areas and between the rich and the poor, disparities still remain, and access to healthcare in rural areas still remains a huge challenge. There is need to build a strong and comprehensive primary healthcare system to accomplish further advancements in health status of the populations and to reduce various disparities.