Srinagar, Jan 13: With thousands of people suffering the burden, primary healthcare services are still nonexistent in more than 50 villages in Tangmarg and its neighbouring villages.
It is worthwhile mentioning here, as per norms, a sub-centre should have 5000 population, PHC 30,000, CHC over one lakh people.
The lack of basic healthcare services in these villages, according to the people, causes them to suffer and require visits to private hospitals in far locations, which they claim they cannot afford.
Despite a growth in population over time, many of the area's interior villages that are farthest from Tangmarg's bustle have been the hardest affected.
Khaipora area, which is 10 kilometres away from Tangmarg, is bordered with 15 villages like Reshipora, Tantraypora, Haipra, Ichul, Dhridragar, Sawan and Madam where people have been denied from primary health facilities affecting healthcare.
Pregnant women now travel farther to see doctors, which has a negative impact on the area's maternity care. These women often return home disheartened.
Because there aren't enough ambulances, pregnant women must travel to SDH Tangmarg in private automobiles. Nobody is concerned about them, according to Khaipora resident Tanveer Ahmad. He claimed that people suffer since many areas don't even have a dispensary.
Despite receiving hundreds of patients every day, the Tangmarg hospital is already experiencing a manpower shortage, said Ahmad.
There are 11 villages in the ChandilWanigam region, which is on Tangmarg's southern side. Despite having access to roads, the region lacks a hospital to meet the demands of its population in terms of healthcare.
In the Tangmarg subdivision's Karhama Tehsil, Ogmuna is yet another sizable region. There are no primary healthcare services in the neighbouring villages of Bongam, Kechh, Karhama, Kharpora, Heeng, Wussan, or Soipora.
More over 20,000 people live in Lalpora, KunzarTeshil, according to locals, and none of these villages including Manglora, Dhobiwan, Waripora, or Chichilora—have a health centre. Even though Kunzer has a PHC, people complain that it is lacking in essential amenities.
The story doesn't end here; Kralweth is another location with about ten nearby towns, but it lacks a health centre as well, which has an impact on healthcare.
The decades-old SDH in Tangmarg is already overburdened and is the lone health facility in the area. From Dhobiwan to Khaipora and from ChandilWanigam to Hatdeshoora it caters to thousands of patients, trauma patients and tourists.
There are PHCs at Gulmarg, BabaReshi, Gogaldor, Turkbatpore and Aboora but only two one each at Kunzer and in Mulgam are centrally located.
“Though all these PHCs have their particular importance but there is a dire need to establish more facilities to cater to people,” said Sabir Ahmad, from BabaReshi.
The PHCs residents demand state of art up-gradation to in order to lower burden on people who are bearing the brunt of lack of facilities.
On Baramulla-Babareshi NH701 there are nearly a dozen villages including Nambalnar which remains disconnected during winter months and pregnant women suffer the most.
“In winter pregnant women face transport issues as the area receives heavy snowfall,” said Ajaz Ahmad, a resident of Nambalnar village. “They have to travel to Tangmarg or SDH Kreeri which is very difficult. The government has forgotten us amid sufferings,” he said.
Similarly, another area which is near Sranz Waterfall at Nagbal village there are some 10 villages that also lack a PHC forcing patients to travel SDH Chandoosa, SDH Kreeri, SDH Tangmarg, which are located 20 kilometres away and pregnant women are worst sufferers.
“Imagine there is snowfall and road gets blocked and there is an emergency patient or case. We have no option but to take the patient on shoulders,” said Bilal Ahmad, a resident of Dandmoo village.
He said despite health being a priority sector, the health department has failed to ensure adequate investment in primary health which is their main domain.
Spokesperson Directorate of Health Services Kashmir, Dr Mir Mushtaq said the department follows Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) norms before sanctioning any health facility.
“Population is the major decider to sanction any health facility. If these villages fit the IPHS norms the villagers should approach us. Then the directorate will examine the same and then a recommendation can be sent to the government,” he said.