Nexus creating hurdle in up-gradation of diagnostic equipment at DH Pulwama

A view of DH Pulwama. — Excelsior/ Younis Khaliq
A view of DH Pulwama. — Excelsior/ Younis Khaliq

Suhail Bhat
Srinagar, May 19: In a shocking revelation, authorities who are at the helm of affairs at District Hospital Pulwama are allegedly hampering the up gradation of some necessary diagnostic equipment to benefit a private hospital and some diagnostic centers.
An unholy nexus between hospital authorities and private clinics has turned the health center into a money minting machine wherein patients are forced to visit private diagnostic centers that are owned by some of the officials enjoying political patronage.
As per sources, a top official at the hospital steering this avaricious practice is a shareholder at some of these private facilities. Besides, his accomplices drive a significant portion of income from the referrals they order.
Insiders in the hospital said the authorities are scuttling the up-gradation of an old model of Laparoscope that was bought way back in early 2000. “The machine stopped working in 2014 and is lying defunct,” an official said. He said subsidiary health centers like SDH Pampore and SDH Tral have upgraded Laparoscopic facilities but the district hospital is not. The CRM, which is essential for orthopedic surgeries has also stopped functioning, forcing patients to visit private clinics where they are often overcharged.
The hospital lacks a high-frequency USG machine despite costing a meager amount while a heavy amount of money was spent to buy the least important things like Sofas and ACs for office and doctor rooms. “The same money could have been used for the upgradation of this equipment,” he said.
In addition, a sizable amount was spent on the CCTV cameras. “The cameras were changed a couple of times. We are unable to fathom reasons behind prioritizing surveillance over healthcare,” a doctor said.
Strangely, the hospital has procured an ECO machine without the availability of cardiologist in the hospital. “Without the specialist, the equipment is almost useless,” a senior doctor said.
Another doctor at the hospital said the officials have political backing which shields them whenever an action is initiated against them. “This unethical practice has been going on for the last several years, as the greedy employees have not been transferred for last one-two decades,” he said.