Virtually putting a question mark on the style of functioning of his predecessor Choudhary Lal Singh, Minister for Health and Medical Education Bali Bhagat today said that health sector has derailed and bringing it back on track is a challenging task.
“The health sector is in shambles in the state. It has been destroyed,” Bhagat said while talking to a news agency. Without referring to opening of shops in the government hospitals across the state, Bhagat said that government hospitals are short of medicine supply from last six months, which is shocking.
“I am surprised that for the last six months, hospitals are not getting medicine supply. It is shocking. We are told something else about hospitals, but inside them there is worst situation,” he said. Bhagat said that sanitation is worst. He said that emergency in GMC is overburdened and nothing has been done to create space.
“Staff behavior toward patients is rude. Sanitation in the hospitals is such that a healthy person will get sick inside the hospital. My focus will be to bring health sector on track and make doctors and paramedics accountable for work being done by them,” Bhagat added. He said that doctors and medical staff in the government-run hospitals should treat patients as their family members and work will full responsibility.
“Medical staff should treat patients as their family and be compassionate with them. Behaviour and attitude of doctors toward patients should be friendly. Medical staff is appointed to serve people and they must serve,” Bhagat said. “Maintaining transparency, efficient performance and fixing responsibility with be key three points on which the doctors and officers concerned will work,” Bhagat said.
“For those doctors who will not perform, department will write it in their annual performance report (APR). And non-performing will be shown the door,” he said. He said that while rich people visit outside private hospitals for even headache treatment, government hospitals are visited by poor and lower middle class people in the state.
“I assure people of Jammu and Kashmir that I will try to give them affordable and decent service in the hospitals. We will try to come up to their expectations on the department. I will try to fulfill the lacunae in the department,” he said. Outlining challenges in the department, he said that free medicine supply is being sold in private markets by the officials in the hospitals.
“The biggest challenge is pilferage of medicine from the hospitals and health centers. We will soon come up with policy to curb pilferage of medicine meant for poor patients,” he said. Minister he has asked the department to stop transfers paramedics for some time. “I will first review the entire human resource data and then will act accordingly,” he said.
On doctors overstaying in hospitals beyond permissible time period, the minister said that posting of doctors will be streamlined. “Those doctors, who because of their influence in power corridors have stayed in cities and towns in their whole service period, will be posted in places where people need them. And those who really wish to serve the patients are posted in rural areas for years together will be supported by the department and appropriately appreciated,” he said.
“Doctors have made the noble profession their illicit business by opening private clinics will be taken to task, and made accountable. These doctors and officers will be identified and action will be taken against them,” he said. He said that helpline service- SMS, phone numbers, and email- will be started for people to get feedback and complaints of the people about the hospitals to act. He appealed the people to cooperate with the department in getting it back on track.