Admn committed to health for all, manpower issue will be addressed: LG

LG Manoj Sinha meeting a delegation of three senior politicians in Srinagar on Friday.
LG Manoj Sinha meeting a delegation of three senior politicians in Srinagar on Friday.

Farooq, Tarigami, Beg meet Sinha

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, July 21: A delegation of Dr Farooq Abdullah, President JKNC, M Y Tarigami, CPI(M) Central Committee member and Dr Mehboob Beg, general secretary, JKPDP called on Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha at Raj Bhavan today.
They submitted a memorandum to the Lt Governor seeking his intervention on recruitment of doctors, paramedical staff at SKIMS, Srinagar and several other issues related to health sector.
The Lt Governor assured the members of the delegation that the UT administration is committed to health for all and manpower issue raised by the delegation will be addressed on priority and in a time bound manner. He said, under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, unprecedented health infrastructure has come up in J&K in the last 3 years.
“Due to our consistent efforts, today J&K has one of the best public health care facilities in the country. The UT administration is working with sensitivity to ensure common man has access to quality healthcare and our performance on 10 health parameters are better than national average, which is a testimony to our commitment of quality of life and transformation in health sector of Union Territory,” he observed.
Sinha further noted that more than Rs. 7000 Crores have been spent strengthening health infrastructure and Rs. 881 Crore to upgrade the dilapidated infra in districts. With 2 new AIIMS, 7 new medical colleges, 5 new nursing colleges, upgradation of 10 nursing colleges and 2 Bone & Joint hospitals, Jammu Kashmir is redefining healthcare delivery system in the Country. 2 state-of-the-art cancer institutes are also coming up, one each in Jammu and Srinagar, and MoU with Tata Cancer Institute has been signed to provide best care and ensure trained manpower. The work on Bone & Joint Hospital, Srinagar has been expedited and is expected to be completed by end of this year.
Dialysis facilities are available in every District Hospital, besides universal health coverage of Rs five lakh is provided to every household of Jammu Kashmir under Ayushman Bharat-SEHAT Scheme. Around 98% population has access to Ayushman Bharat, which has proved to be a boon to the poor, marginalized section of society as well as the middle class. Earlier there was no facility for critical care ambulances, however, it is now available round the clock across the Union Territory.
“Accessible, affordable and quality healthcare for every citizen of J&K UT is our top priority,” the Lt Governor said.
During the meeting, the delegation submitted a comprehensive memorandum outlining the pressing issues that both tertiary and peripheral healthcare establishments are grappling with across the UT.
One of the primary concerns raised in the memorandum pertained to the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) in Soura. The delegation, through the memorandum, expressed its appreciation for the milestones achieved by the institute since its inception. However, they emphasized that practical difficulties were impeding its operations, affecting patient care and overall functioning.
The delegation particularly highlighted the “adverse impact” of the recent decision to revoke SKIMS’ autonomous status, stating that it has hampered the institute’s decision-making process.
The memorandum revealed that numerous positions, including medical, paramedic and administrative roles, remain unfilled, noting that a major challenge faced by SKIMS is the shortage of staff.  “There is a 50 per cent shortage of all technical and nursing staff, and recruitment has not been conducted for the last seven years,” the memorandum stated.
It further stated: “The shortage of staff is evident in the staggering number of vacant positions, amounting to 1201 across different categories, including 115 faculty positions, 149 Gazetted posts, 870 Non-Gazetted posts, and 67 positions for Senior and Junior Residents.”
Shifting the focus to the peripheral healthcare system, the memorandum underlined the deficiencies in district-level hospitals. It noted that the absence of radiotherapy facilities in these hospitals forces cancer patients to seek treatment in Srinagar or private hospitals, increasing their financial burden.