Srinagar, Dec 24: Patients in Drugmulla and its surrounding villages are suffering owing to a lack of essential healthcare services at the Primary Health Centre (PHC) Drugmulla in the Kupwara district of north Kashmir.
The residents said the hospital caters to a huge chunk of the population of villages like Drugmulla, Keegam, Vaterkhani, Radbugh, Modanpora, Muqam-e-Shahwali, Shadipora, Bramri and adjoining areas. It caters to 20-25 villages and population of 20,000 people.
Bashir Ahmad, a resident of Drugmulla said the 30-year-old hospital lacks basic facilities compelling patients to visit other hospitals located at far-off places.
“The hospital lacks an ambulance, X-ray, USG, and ECG, there is no arrangement for electricity. Despite the repeated requests the issues have not been resolved over the years,” he said.
“There is no separate transformer for the hospital.. Due to erratic power supply, the hospital staff also suffers,” the resident said.
Bashir said the healthcare faces staff shortage due to which patient care had been badly hit. The resident said pregnant women of the area are compelled to travel longer distances due to lack of primary healthcare facilities.
“Pregnant women are the worst sufferers due to the non-availability of specialist doctors causing hardships for the women of the area,” he said.
A doctor posted at the hospital said the health department has declared it a 24/7 facility and started night shift of staff but nothing has been done to provide the basic facilities.
“We suffer a lot when there is no electricity and we are forced to treat patients under candlelight during night. Although, we have an inverter but the electricity remains just for less than two hours a day and we are unable to charge that,” he said.
“Since the hospital is functioning without an ambulance, in times of medical emergency we usually face the wrath of people for not having an ambulance here,” the doctor said.
Chief Medical Officer, Kupwara, Dr Bashir Ahmad Teli said they have taken up issue of electricity with PDD and lack of machinery with the health department.
About lack of x-ray and USG machines, he said the proposal for the same is in pipeline adding that they also need staff to run the machines. “We are trying to make x-ray and USG functional,” he said.
The CMO admitted that the doctors use candlelight to treat the patients during night hours. “We have an inverter there. Step by step we are trying to resolve the matter. Our priority was to make it functional 24/7 and that time also we had to face many issues,” he said.