Bandipora, Jan 15: Gurez Valley is facing a severe shortage of doctors and healthcare professionals.
According to the information obtained through a Right to Information (RTI) query filed by M M Shuja, Gurez Valley Medical Block is struggling to provide adequate services to the residents.
The main health facility of the valley, the Community Health Centre (CHC) in Dawar, has three vacant posts for a gynaecologist, a paediatrician, and a physician. Additionally, six of the seven New Type Primary Health Centres (NTPHCs) in different villages of the valley have no doctors posted, as six posts for medical officers are unfilled.
These include NTPHCs in Bagtore, Barnai, Gujjran, Kilshay, Wanpora, and Kanzalwan villages.
To make matters worse, the locals who face immense hardships in reaching the hospital at Dawar during winter have no access to ambulances at three NTPHCs – Kilshay, Gujjran, and Barnai - all located in Tulail Valley within Gurez. According to the RTI, the department has not made any progress in procuring ambulances, as the last purchase of any vehicles for the block was made in July 2022.
Moreover, PHC Budugam and Sheikhpora do not have dental surgeon posts.
The information also shows that no doctors, paramedics, or clerical staff have been assigned to any other block within the district.
Further, out of the 27 sanctioned posts of technicians under various categories including nurses and health and sanitary inspectors, only three are in place at CHC Dawar.
Moreover, 10 posts of senior and junior pharmacists, assistants, health officers, and health educators are vacant at PHCs Sheikpora, Badugam, NTPHCs Bagtore, Barnai, Gujjran, and MAC Badwan.
BMO Gurez Dr Tahira confirmed to Greater Kashmir that the information provided in the RTI was correct.