Lone 30-bed hospital caters to 200 border villages

JAMMU: Catering to over 200 villages in two border Assembly constituencies along the volatile international border (IB), the lone hospital in the RS Pura sector of the district has been grappling with the shortage of infrastructure and manpower, subjecting border dwellers to great hardships for medical treatment.

Lone 30-bed hospital caters to 200 border villages

Community Health Centre RS Pura. Tribune File Photo

Arteev Sharma

Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 1

Catering to over 200 villages in two border Assembly constituencies along the volatile international border (IB), the lone hospital in the RS Pura sector of the district has been grappling with the shortage of infrastructure and manpower, subjecting border dwellers to great hardships for medical treatment.

The problem generally compounds when border areas witness intense shelling and firing by Pakistan, causing injuries to civilians and security personnel. On a majority of occasions, the injured are forced to look for alternative medical facilities to get better treatment.

“There are only 30 beds in Community Health Centre (CHC) in RS Pura,” Block Medical Officer (BMO), RS Pura, said in response to an RTI application filed by a Jammu-based activist and national president of the Kisan Welfare Organisation Rohit Choudhary.

Choudhary claimed that there were more than 200 villages along the border in the RS Pura area and the current health facilities in Community Health Centre, RS Pura, were inadequate to cater to the rush of patients.

“The situation becomes alarming when there is firing and shelling along the border. The grievously injured patients don’t get adequate medical treatment in time. Unfortunately, no government has bothered to take notice of this sensitive issue. Border dwellers continue to be the victim of this official indifference,” the activist said, adding that another building of the hospital was being constructed in the area for the past many years, but it was yet to be completed.

The RTI reply also said a total of 14 ambulances were on road in the RS Pura area to ferry patients, while a total of 462 snakebites were reported in the last nine years. According to the BMO, RS Pura, Satish Chander, the hospital caters to two Assembly constituencies — Suchetgarh and RS Pura under which hundreds of villages fall.

“No doubt, there is shortage of beds in the hospital, but work on a new 50-bed building is in progress and it may be completed by next month. With the commissioning of the new building, we are hopeful that it will deal with the problem to a considerable extent,” the BMO claimed.

He, however, said two posts of specialist in ENT and orthopaedic were lying vacant in the hospital, besides the hospital had a vacant post of CMO. “We have requested the Health Department and we will get the requisite manpower soon,” he said.

10 years on, Bijbehara trauma hospital nowhere near completion 

Anantnag: Ten years have passed since the proposed trauma hospital was sanctioned in Bijbehara area of Anantnag district and six years since the work first started, but the hospital is still incomplete. The hospital was sanctioned in 2008 by the then state government led by National Conference (NC). Eleven other such hospitals were sanctioned along the national highway to tackle trauma cases during accidents along the stretch of the highway. “While the NH-44 is now functional and hospitals do not fall on the highway, they are still in the vicinity and can be effective in tackling trauma cases,” a senior official from the Health Department said. Subsequently, the work was allotted to the Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation (JKPCC) in 2013. The estimated cost of the project was Rs 13.4 crore and it was to be completed within 3 years. Six years have passed and the hospital still remains a distant dream. While some of the 12 sanctioned hospitals have been functioning since many years now, this hospital in Bijbehara is nowhere near completion.   “The Trauma Hospital in Qazigund area is working for more than eight years now,” the Health official said. Besides, the sub-district hospital in Bijbehara has an unsafe building and the administration wants to shift to the building of the Trauma Hospital for the time being. Meanwhile, the executing agency JKPCC maintains that it will take another two months to hand over the building to the Health Department. Ghulam Muhammad Dar, Managing Director of JKPCC for Anantnag, said the project work was stopped for more than 3 years due to shortage of funds. “Everything has been sorted out now. It will not be more than two months before the project is completed,” he said. — Suhail A Shah

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