We, the people of Jammu and Kashmir, make an endeavor to highlight the recent enhancement of OPD ticket charges levied in all the Institutions of Health and Medical Education departments sanctioned vide Government Order No. 143/2020 dated 10 Feb 2020 issued under the signature of Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Department. This order raises the existing rate of Rs. 2 and Rs. 5 to Rs. 10 uniformly in all such institutions thereby adding to the difficulty of poor people who are otherwise mandated to get free of cost health services. It may appear insignificant to the people who can afford sky-high cost of medical services in corporate hospitals but in true sense it pinches to the poor people of the rural areas who are suffering consequences of unemployment, inflation, failed seasonal crops and above all defective marketing mechanism of agricultural products throughout newly formed union territory of JK. Let me be very practical that a family consisting of five members required to visit any such institute will end up spending Rs. 50/- in place of Rs. 10/- only and the only earning member may be hard pressed to afford out of minimum wages of Rs.225/- being paid to him as daily wager. We are really helpless to convince ourselves as to why such fees are charged for a service which is otherwise supposed to be provided free of cost to the citizens especially so in the far flung areas where such government institutes are functioning for the sake of it with minimum staff and rare availability of medicines. This is highly unjustified anditneeds to be condemned especially when the Govt of Delhi is opening free Mohalla Clinic for her citizens right in the capital of India. We therefore make an earnest request to LG of UT of JK to intervene and order withdrawal of this discriminatory enhancement imposed on the poor citizen of JK.
WgCdr (Retd) Mahesh Chander Sudan
Sainik Colony, Jammu