The maternity services have been severely hit at Mother and Child Hospital in north Kashmir’s Sopore town due to the lackadaisical approach of health department causing trouble to expecting mothers who visit the facility after travelling from far off places.
Residents of Sopore said the MCH located at Iqbal Market is unable to dispense the basic maternity services due to lack of basic facilities including diagnostics.
For consultations, expecting mothers have to go to the MCH and for basic diagnostic they are asked to go to Sub District Hospital Sopore which is a distance of 1.5 kilometers and then come back again to meet doctors.
Bilal Ahmad, a local resident who accompanied his wife, said to visit the maternity hospital has become an exhausting task for the pregnant women as it lacks basic facilities.
“At the frontal gate there is so much mud. The old buildings in the hospital premises are in shambles and haven’t been repaired over the years leaving patients and locals angry,” he said.
“There are always apprehensions. If a patient faces any kind of complication it is difficult to reach the SDH. It should be a full-fledged hospital with infrastructure and proper machinery,” he said.
The MCH has no USG, no X-ray facility, no labor room, not even basic testing facility leaving pregnant women, who travel longer distances to seek care, to suffer.
It also has no biometric attendance. Also for night duties its employees go to SDH Sopore.
Earlier, the government tried to convert the MCH with SDH Sopore but the locals had not allowed the government move, hitting the maternity care in the apple town.
The maternity facility receives 300-400 patients from Baramulla, Bandipora and Kupwara and other areas of north Kashmir but due to lack of facilities they are facing trouble.
The locals of the area had been demanding upgradation of the hospital but nothing concrete has come over the years due to the lackadaisical approach of health department.
Its shifting has also been stayed by the J&K High Court in 2015.
The foundation stone for MCH inpatient department was laid by former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1981, since then it has been neglected.
However, Block Medical Officer, Sopore, Dr Asif Khanday, said few years back, the locals have stayed the shifting of MCH and the matter continues to remain sub judice.
“The patients are facing immense difficulties. We are unable to upgrade the MCH due to the prevailing issue. We are also handicapped,” he said.
“For a pregnant woman, going from on hospital to another is troublesome,” the BMO said.
Thought 4 gynecologists remain at MCH but they are also ceased of this issue. “I invited many stakeholders in this regard. Some locals have taken it hostage for their own interests.” he said.