Srinagar, November 24
Union government’s proposal of sanctioning of 775 health centers to Jammu and Kashmir is gathering dust in the J&K’s finance and planning departments.
The successive governments have miserably failed to identify the locations to give final touch to the proposal, sources said. The move was aimed to revamp the ailing health sector in Jammu and Kashmir, which according to sources, has still a shortage of over 1500 health centers, they said.
“Based on the topography, population coverage and existing health centers, the State has shortage of some 1700 health centers,” reveals the official statistics of Health department, which is based on the Geo-Informatics System.
To cope up with the crisis, the previous UPA government had sanctioned 775 health centers for Jammu and Kashmir. “But the proposal is now lying unattended in the State’s Planning Department and awaits the final touch,” sources said.
According to the statistics of the health department, Kashmir division lacks 42 Community Health Centres, 122 Primary Health Centres and 898 Sub-Centres, while the Jammu province has shortage of 22 Community health centers, 79 Primary Health Centers and 594 sub-centers.
The officials in the health department say that if these new health centers are opened, it requires Rs. 552 crore. “The existing healthcare centers and even the tertiary care hospitals lack basic infrastructure,” they said.
Many officials in the health department say that it was not necessary to open all the health centers at the same time, if state doesn’t have adequate funds. “It would have been better to identify the areas where there is dire need of health centers, “they said. While the situation of district hospitals and health centers in rural areas are already in bad shape, the city’s top hospitals like SMHS continue to remain in mess because of the patient rush and shortage of beds.
Patients in Kashmir receive the treatment far below than the national average, reveals a national survey.
Former minister for health and medical education, Taj Mohiddin said he himself doesn’t understand why there has been no headway in the proposal. “I don’t know the status of the proposal now. The previous PDP-BJP government should explain the reasons,” he said.