Official apathy turns model hospital into diagnostic centre in Dooru

Suhail Bhat
SRINAGAR, Nov 18: People are dismayed over Government’s inability to make Model Hospital Dooru functional in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district even after two years of its completion.
The hospital has been caught in a standoff between locals and the administration after later decided to close the Sub district Hospital in the area owing to the proximity of hospitals. The disagreement is taking a toll on the healthcare of thousands of people living in the area and they accuse authorities of turning a blind eye towards their issues.
“People come here for CT-scans and some tests. We were promised a Model Hospital, not a diagnostic lab,” Bilal Ahmad, a local said, adding that they have made diagnostic equipment functional to salvage people.
The hospitals are in close proximity with each other and that encourage authorities to close one facility. “Plan is to provide all facilities under one roof but people are not allowing that to happen. We are already facing staff shortage and it won’t be possible for us to run both the institutions,” a health official said, adding that people should understand the shortcomings of the department.
People, however, questioned Government’s purpose to open two facilities in an area. “If there was a hospital in the area why did they build a new one,” Zakir Ahmad, another local from the area said. He lamented that the people are suffering due to the ill planning of the Government. “Why haven’t they thought about these issues prior to construction. They should have taken people on board before the construction,” he said, adding the Government is passing the blame onto the people to hide their failure.
Amid this stalemate, patient care is taking a hit as existing hospital lacks proper infrastructure, lighting and medical facilities. “The hospital is in bad shape and lacks heating arrangements and other basic facilities. The doctors are also insufficient,” another local said.
The building has undergone several modifications right from the beginning as it was meant for a 200-beded maternity hospital.
Director Health Department, Sameer Mattoo, said that he would visit the place and look into the matter. “I will look into the matter. Two OPDs are functional. People create hurdles there. We wanted it to be functional. I already have discussed the matter with the administration. I will visit the area and take stock of situation,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner Anantnag, Khalid Jahangir, said that the issue is under their consideration and would be resolved soon.