There is a grave dearth of doctors in our state. But how few are they? Let’s examine:
- According to standards set by the World Health Organisation, WHO, the doctor patient ratio should be 1:500
- In many western countries, the ratio is a little generous being 1:1000.
- But in our Jammu & Kashmir, the ratio is even greater than 1:2000.
- In many of our district and sub-district hospitals, there is a deadly lack of doctors with nearly half the posts being vacant.
- Due to this deficiency of doctors, the Health Department has abandoned the practice of running health centres 24 hours.
- For example, in Rajouri district, only 87 doctors are available against a total strength of 235 doctors.
- Similarly, among the 106 posts of doctors working under National Health Mission (NHM) in the district only 88 are available.
- Further, in the district there are total seven Sub District hospitals for which seven posts of Radiologists have been sanctioned but there too only one doctor is available.
- The situation is also not better in District Poonch where out of 120 sanctioned posts of Medical Officers only 28 are available while out of 48 Specialists 22 are available in the district.
- In Bhaderwah out of 17 sanctioned posts of doctors 13 are lying vacant while in Udhampur district out of 271 sanctioned posts of doctors 150 are in position as per official sources while 121 are lying vacant.
- Alone in DH Udhampur out of 22 posts of Medical Officers 12 are lying vacant while the post of one Dermatologist, one Gynecologist and one junior Radiologist is lying vacant at present.
- In district Kishtwar situation is worse as out of sanctioned strength of 102 doctors, 36 are available and 66 are vacant.
- In Hiranagar block out of 27 sanctioned posts of doctors 15 are available and rest short and In Kathua block out of 38 sanctioned posts of doctors 17 are available while rest are short. The situation is not better in district Hospital Kathua also where out of 57 sanctioned posts of doctors 26 are available and rest vacant.
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- In Basholi block out of sanctioned 53posts of doctors 11 are available and rest are vacant and in Billawar block of the same district out of 48 sanctioned posts of doctors 14 are functional while rest are vacant.
There is a long list of posts for specialists and other medical staff which is yet to see daylight. However, the new Health and Medical Education Minister, Dr D K Manyal on whom people have many expectations because he himself belongs to medical profession said all steps are being taken to overcome the problem. He said 371 posts of doctors were selected by PSC and out of them 200 will be deployed in Medical Colleges of State to undergo PG courses. The remaining 171 posts will be deployed in the hospitals in peripheries. Besides, more doctors will be appointed on contractual basis under NHM first for three years and then their term will be extended to six years, it is being said.