Due to the failure of Health Department to provide adequate facilities, staff, a health centre in north Kashmir’s Palhallan township is locked since 2010, raising eye brows of many people.
According to residents of Tantraypora Palhallan, the health centre was constructed in the year 2001 with the efforts of the then Member Parliament GN Shaheen with an aim to provide health facilities to the local populace.
The lone health centre they said used to cater to Palhallan population and its adjoining areas for nine years.
“Till 2010 the doctors were visiting the hospital and it was functional. However, the staff later ran away suddenly and it is locked and remains like this till date,” Suhail Ahmad, a student of local Higher Secondary told Rising Kashmir.
He said the expectant mothers and seriously ill patients are forced to traverse several kilometers to Pattan and Baramulla to get basic medical facilities.
“Due to closing of the health centre, the patients of the area are forced to go for treatment at far off and private hospitals.”
The residents said from the past seven years they have been apprising the concerned authorities about the matter but to not avail.
The inhabitants also said that about twelve thousand people have been directly or indirectly affected due to the closing of the hospital.
“We appeal the state government to engage and appoint doctors including pharmacists and staff nurses in the health centre so that they get basic medical facilities,” said Mohammad Yousuf Wani, who runs a shop in the township.
He said it is unfortunate that nobody from the administration visited the area from the past seven years.
It is pertinent to mention here that a local volunteer group, Palhallan Volunteer Group recently held a sanitation drive to clear the garbage and muck around the hospital building.
“The condition of the building has worsened. We cleared the building premises to awaken the locals and remind the health department to provide staff and facilities,” Asif Shahbaz said who is head of the voluntary group.
Block Medical Officer (BMO) Pattan Dr Manzoor Ahmad told Rising Kashmir they were in process to provide adequate staff after they received a delegation about the matter.
“A delegation of residents had approached us. I will try to help them. We will depute staff and other essential equipment’s to the abandoned centre,” he said.
He also said that he has forwarded the same in written to Health Department and Chief Medical Officer Baramulla.