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Healing Hands Needed | Critical Care in Crisis

Kashmir hospitals understaffed, overwhelmed
03:28 AM Feb 03, 2024 IST | Rabiya Bashir
healing hands needed   critical care in crisis
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Srinagar, Feb 2: The hospitals across Kashmir continue to face a severe staff crunch, with hundreds of crucial positions lying vacant.

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The shortage of medical personnel, including doctors and paramedical staff, is raising alarm bells about the region’s healthcare infrastructure’s ability to meet the growing demands of the population.

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As per the official data, more than 100 posts are lying vacant in Kulgam, Qazigund, and Rohama.

The information was provided by the hospital authorities in response to a Right to Information (RTI) query of a social activist, M M Shujah.

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The Block Medical Officer (BMO)’s office in Kulgam has 34 posts vacant, including medical officers, junior assistants, and senior assistants.

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The Emergency Hospital in Qazigund has 24 unfilled positions including consultant surgeons and orthopedic specialists.

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Besides that, consultant surgeon, consultant ortho, and three medical officers are attached to other hospitals.

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Adding to the concern, 43 vacancies across various categories are lying vacant with the BMO in Rohama. This includes paediatrician, consultant anaesthesia, and eight medical officers.

Moreover, PHC Panzhoma, Nadihal in Rohama is without a vehicle.

Earlier also, Greater Kashmir reported that nearly 229 posts of doctors and paramedics are lying vacant in Ganderbal, Kangan, Handwara, Boniyar, and in Baramulla district.

The only child-maternity hospital in Jammu, Sri Maharaja Gulab Singh (SMGS) and its associated hospital are also facing shortage of faculty members with 13 posts of doctors and 194 of paramedics lying vacant.

A total of 108 gazetted and 167 non-gazetted posts are lying vacant at GMC, Jammu.

Areas like Gurez, Karnah, Tangdhar, Poru Kalnag village in Kokernag, and other remote regions cut off due to heavy snowfall, face significant barriers to healthcare.

Critical healthcare facilities in Community Health Centers (CHCs) in these far-flung areas lack gynaecologists, theatre assistants, manpower, radiologists, and blood banks.

The situation is particularly concerning as the harsh winter weather isolates regions like Gurez Valley for at least six months.

The closure of the Bandipora-Gurez road due to heavy snowfall compounds the challenges, leaving the valley in distress for basic amenities and proper healthcare services.

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