Crumbling health-care

Filed under: Editorial |

Public delivery system is the basic ingredient of good governance on the ground and governance administration has failed so far to make it responsive to needs of general public. Recently the new Chief Secretary rolled out his own vision of making the administration public friendly, but on the ground there is no change. Let us take the example of government-run hospitals. There is shortage of staff, doctors and medicines. Poor people who cannot afford to go for the tests outside the hospitals are forced to go for the tests and medicines outside the hospitals as there is a strong lobby of private outlets of these tests and medicines inside the government hospitals. Governor’s administration could not stop the recent delay in the hundreds of surgeries in government hospitals of Srinagar due to the strike of doctors and most of the patients were poor people and they were forced to go for surgeries in private hospitals by the doctors and staff of government hospitals.

The acute shortage of medicines in Government Hospitals has been forcing different hospitals to purchase the same on exorbitant rates from private distributors. Directorate of Health Services has failed to supply the medicines to hospitals and as per officials no efforts are being done to supply drugs to the hospitals. Administrators from different hospitals alleged that Directorate of Health Services Kashmir is not interested in purchasing medicines from J&K Medical Supplies Corporation Limited (JKMSCL). The acute shortage of emergency medicines has made almost all the hospitals ill-equipped to save patients’ lives.

Hundreds of patients, including those from the under privileged section, are forced to purchase drugs from the market, while the hospitals continue to engage with the Corporation in a bitter blame game. The shortage of Tetanus, anesthesia drugs, antibiotic medicines, dressing material like cotton and adhesive plaster and even basic laboratory items like glassware and chemicals and other emergency drugs in the hospitals. A couple of days back, the administrators at District Hospital Baramulla, Anantnag and Budgam were forced to purchase emergency drugs from private distributors. Same is the case with Srinagar hospitals.

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