Poor infra, manpower affect Oral healthcare in Valley

Irfan Tramboo
SRINAGAR, Jan 17: As the Government has failed to up-grade manpower and the infrastructure linked to the Oral health in Jammu and Kashmir, the number of unemployed dental surgeons are surging beyond numbers with oral health taking a hit.
“The patient influx in oral health care has witnessed a manifold increase but human resources and infrastructure have not been developed as per the need”, an official of Health department said.
He said that there has been no post creation in the speciality of oral health vis-à-vis dental surgeons for last more than 10 years and a recent proposal submitted to the department is pending with the Government.
Official sources told Excelsior that the number of Dental Surgeons for a 300, 200 and 100 bedded District Hospitals, 50-100 bedded Sub District Hospital and Primary Health Center is only 2 but as per guidelines it should be 5.
“The patient load and the range of Oral health services provided at these hospitals are multi-pronged and varied,” source said.
The officials said that the increase in patients in OPDs at District Hospitals and Sub District Hospitals has become challenging with the limited human resource.
“It is not possible for the Dental Surgeons, who are 2 at District Hospital and one at Sub District Hospital to manage both OPD and surgical and conservative procedures there by leading in devaluing of ideal oral health care services,” the officials said.
With the non-availability of the required facilities, people are forced to consult quacks for dental ailments, resulting in further deterioration of oral health.
“…Public Service Commission (PSC) has not advertised any post of dental surgeons for last 10 years which has created a huge gap in doctor-patient ratio, unemployment and consequent brain drain,” a doctor said.
As per the numbers available with the J&K Dental Surgeons Association, the number of unemployed dental surgeons in Jammu and Kashmir has reached more than 3000.
The doctors further said that callous approach of successive governments to upgrade dental health care is responsible for Hepatitis B&C cases in J&K saying that people are forced to consult quacks.
With regard to the creation of post for the dental surgeons, a proposal is already lying with the department of Health and Medical Education. However, there has been no development in this direction so far.
The doctors are demanding that the Health department should take the issue seriously and announce a package for unemployed dental surgeons. Further, Doctors body has also appealed the authorities of the National Health Mission (NHM) to come forward and absorb the unemployed dental surgeons at larger level.