The government has failed to finalise the promotion of consultants to be posted in rural hospitals across Jammu Kashmir.
This is despite the official claims of strengthening healthcare in the peripheries and is hitting patient care.
In 2016, the Health and Medical Education (H&ME) department issued a notification claiming that 40 percent B-grade consultants in the field would be promoted and sent to peripheral hospitals.
“When the government started the process of recruiting doctors by direct promotion, it was for the first time in the history of Jammu Kashmir,” said an official in the Health department.
He said in the past three years, the government has failed to finalise the list of promotions and its file was gathering dust in the Health department.
“The list hasn’t been issued. The government has already taken a decision to fill the vacancies by way of promotion of consultants,” he said.
The delay in the process to finalise the list of consultants is badly affecting the rural hospitals as these lack consultants in various specialties.
“The doctors who were to be promoted continue to work as medical officers and are unable to deliver services as consultants to the healthcare system,” the official said.
The matter was also stayed by the High Court but later cleared it and asked the government to continue the process, which is yet to start, pushing a large chunk of patients to the wall.
Thousands of patients in the peripheral hospitals are bearing the brunt of lack of specialist doctors, compelling patients to move to the tertiary care hospitals.
A senior doctor, who works in a peripheral hospital, said the government had been claiming that the files would be moved within three days from one office to another office and that “the government was flouting its own norms”.
Talking to Rising Kashmir, Financial Commissioner, H&ME department Atal Dulloo said the promotions would be completed soon.
“We are promoting the B-Grade consultants from time to time like in the areas of anesthesia, medicine, and surgery. We have received some more cases of consultants and they will be promoted shortly,” he said.