The Health Department of PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir is to ensure quality health facilities at root level not only in cities but also in rural areas. Missions including NRHM/RBSK etc. are focused on such issues throughout the nation but interesting thing to notice is how far the state government is concerned about it. Things seemed like a documentary in the state as it had achieved a good health care in the state but the present situation in the state is beyond the concept of Health Department of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Paddar Sub-Division in District Kishtwar has a population of approx. 30,000 souls and for the health department; they have established 03 Primary Health Centers (PHCs) in the Sub-Division to ensure proper health care of this rural area. But, the interesting thing to notice is that these PHCs are elephant’s teeth. There are PHCs at Atholi, Sohal & Massu in Paddar and the Block Medical Officer along with one or Two MBBS doctors are posted in Atholi-PHC while other two PHCs viz. Sohal & Massu have no MBBS Doctors. PHC-Atholi is the oldest and centrally located with a proper government building with a separate Dental Section in it. But the dental section remains defunct since more than five years. For a minor dental pain the patients have to walk around 40kms through the crisscross hilly terrain from Sumcham, Machail, Kabban, Ungaie, Gandhari, Chittoo etc. to reach Atholi PHC and from Atholi PHC these Dental Patients are referred to district Hospital Kishtwar for further treatment which is 65km from Atholi PHC.
This pain and crisis of Dental Surgeon in Paddar is one of the grief examples of health issues in rural area like Paddar. The post of Dental Surgeon is vacant in all three PHCs of Paddar from last more than five years or we can stress it to be since the day of the establishment of PHC. Poor people are left with no choice but to get their teeth extracted by electric pliers by Chemist and Hakims, considering the dangers of this kind of operation one can imagine how dreadful the procedure is.
This issue was raised several times from last 4-5 years by the local people in Public Darbar, knocked district administrative’s offices several times but awful is that everyone find keeping their finger on lips the better option. This is a reminder cum request to the District Administrations to humanitarianly look into this regard and put it into the notice of Health Minister as an urgent matter. Kindly share this post to show your concern.
The author is Dr. Nawang Tundup from Gulabgarh Paddar.