Jammu Health Care

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Decades of neglect by every Government virtually meant GMC Jammu to be the only institution providing healthcare facility to the entire Jammu Division. Though separate Bones and Joint Hospital at Barzulla in Srinagar has been serving Kashmir since 1982 and new blocks also coming up but Jammu is devoid of any such facility till now. PDP-BJP coalition Government tried to fulfill this long healthcare demand as four storey Bones and Joint Hospital at Chest Disease Hospital premises itself was sanctioned. With much fanfare foundation laying ceremony was done in April 2018 but till February 2019 no work started. First phase of the project was to be completed in 24 months but due to COVID-19 the said hospital work couldn’t be completed by 2021 as per schedule given, it subsequently missed the second as well as third deadline in 2022. The same old story of contractor payment not released and contractor stopping the work. It seems there is no coordination between GMC Jammu and corresponding Administrative Department along with Finance Department. Files for revalidation of funds are pending for months, only assurances given to the contractor who started the work but at snail’s pace. Most serious is the issue that this project is under PMDP and as such monitored by Home Ministry directly but even that has not changed the routine movement of files between different departments. Same is the story of faculty recruitment for which again approval from Administrative Department is pending. List of equipment is with J&K Medical Supplies Corporation Ltd but when the equipment will land no one knows exactly. More interesting is the fact that new deadline for first phase inauguration is 2023 but only OPD services will start, surgeries will be done at GMC only. More shocking is the fact that this hospital like Super Specialty Hospital Jammu will be without emergency, practically meaning hapless patients and attendants will be forced to run from GMC Emergency to GMC Ortho Department to Bones and Joint Hospital. This again shows the non serious attitude of Health Care planners of our UT who time and again make stop gap arrangements without much thought and planning. Mere construction of buildings can never make ultimate working hospital. Jammu has seen enough of this arrangement be it new Maternity Hospital under SMGS Hospital which reports to Principal GMC Jammu but is constructed at Gandhi Nagar Hospital which reports to Director Health Services Jammu. What are the planners up to is beyond anyone’s imagination. It seems only interest is in making big announcements or maximum in the construction of buildings only or otherwise how can one explain a State Cancer Institute being completed without sewage treatment plant and oxygen generation plant. While GoI and LG are putting sincere efforts to improve Jammu Health Care but it seems the non serious attitude of those in charge is not only hampering their efforts but despite enough funds being at the disposal of UT Administration yet Jammu has been consistently devoid of world class health services. Time and again same mistakes being repeated in each and every project means something is seriously wrong somewhere and needs to be corrected at the earliest. GMC Jammu is already overburdened and timely completion of these specialised hospitals is a must to provide best healthcare facilities to the public. Incomplete projects and time and again deferred dates for inauguration are only further complicating the existing healthcare which is already crumbling with limited resources at GMC Jammu’s disposal. Administration’s immediate priority should be to build world class health infra nor time pass namesake facilities, after all it is question of life and death for every citizen of UT of Jammu and Kashmir.