PHC Khanmoh faces staff, drug shortage

Suhail Bhat
SRINAGAR, Jan 22:  Primary Health Centre (PHC) in Khanmoh, the industrial hub of Valley, in the outskirts of Srinagar is in shambles with acute shortage of emergency drugs and medical staff.
Officials said the Health Centre is working with only 25 percent of sanctioned staff and about 75 percent of the posts are lying vacant. They said out of 5 doctors including one dental surgeon and one Ayurvedic Doctor sanctioned to the PHC there is only one general physician who attends more than hundred patients’ every day.
The paramedical staff is almost nonexistent with only one trainee. There is no dresser available in the health centre and his duties are fulfilled by the peons, residents said.
“A lady doctor should be at the PHC. But despite repeated pleas to the concerned officials several times, they sent a lady doctor who was already six month pregnant,” said an official said, adding: “now she is on maternity leave and there is no replacement.” “The dental surgeon is also on leave and the Ayurvedic Doctor is also not here”, he added.
Locals and doctors complain of non-availability of emergency medicine in the Health centre. “We don’t have a single Paracetmol available here. Now our samples have also finished” said Dr Aijaz, the General Physician. “I made several requests to the higher ups but to no avail. Now the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) has asked me to wait for two- three days. After some days I hope everything will be alright,” he added.
Chief Medical Officer Srinagar, Dr Nazir Ahmad admitted the dearth of staff at the health centre and said: “We are not having enough doctors and paramedical staff to cater the required needs.”
When asked about the non-availability of medicine, the CMO said: “It is all up to the Jammu and Kashmir Medical Corporation. The drug shortage is not only here but across the State. We have sent the concerned department our requisition but they have not done anything,” he said and pleaded helplessness.