22 posts of doctors, 33 paramedics vacant in Sogam of North Kashmir’s

March22:Massive staff crunch in Sogam block of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district has severely hit the patient care in four hospitals including a Community Health Centre (CHC) and three Primary Health Centres (PHCs).
An official said  that 22 posts of Medical Officers (MOs) and specialists and 33 posts of paramedics are lying vacant in the Block Hospitals. Sources said only three ISM doctors are posted in Lalpora, Cheerkote and Tikipora PHCs respectively. Interestingly, in another PHC at Maidanpora of the Sogam, three doctors are posted.
The situation is so grim that there is no pediatrician and anesthetic in any of the block hospitals even as 144 deliveries were performed in one month. An official said that Sogam block has a population of 1.6 lakh and 90,000 are dependent on these three PHCs which are facing acute staff shortage and the patients prefer to go to Kupwara and Handwara for treatment.
The staff shortage has also hit basic medical facilities in the block. The PHCs of the Sogam Block have no X-ray labs, ECG machines and digital testing labs and officials argue that there is no point of providing such facilities when there is no adequate staff to handle them.
The official said that while ambulances are available in Cheerkote, Lalpora and Tikipora PHCs but there are no drivers. When enquired, a top medical official of Kupwara revealed that the doctors are reluctant to go to Sogam block. The official said that even as the previous Ministers in previous coalition Government were apprised by the block administration about the heavy staff crunch but no step was taken to fill these vacant posts.
The staff crunch has forced people to go to Kupwara and Handwara hospitals to get better medical facilities. “We don’t benefit much from these hospitals as they lacked basic facilities. We often go to Kupwara hospital for treatment,” said the residents and urged the higher authorities to ensure all basic facilities in the hospital besides adequate staff.

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