Srinagar, Aug 20: Lack of proper facilities at the peripheral health facilities in Kashmir and private practice of doctors are the main reasons behind the growing referral cases in the valley.
A senior doctor at GMC Srinagar said that most of the health care facilities at district level lack proper infrastructure due to which patients at times with even minor ailments are referred to tertiary health care facilities.
He said that whenever patients visit PHC, SDH and even some district hospitals, they are mostly asked to conduct tests at private clinics and even all specialist doctors don’t remain available there everyday, so patients prefer to go to tertiary care hospitals where they get all facilities 24×7.
The doctor that most of facilities at peripheral level remain open for 10 am to 4 pm only and health facilities which remain open for 24×7 at district level for emergency purposes only with limited staff and under such circumstances if health facility will get two to three patients at a time, then limited staff has no option other than to refer the patients.
Another doctor said that due to private practice of doctors, most doctors don’t reach their duty on time and often leave office before closing time due to which patients and attendants visiting these facilities face problems so they prefer to go to tertiary care hospitals.
Also, a senior doctor said the majority of referral patients can be easily managed at a PHC, SDH or district hospital.
He said that it puts pressure on infrastructure as well as manpower and often delays treatment to patients in need.
He said that whenever they ask them about referral slips, they say they came on their own.
“The need of the hour is to develop more infrastructure and deploy more doctors at peripheral health institutions so that it can develop trust among patients so that they can prefer treatment for minor ailments there,” he said.
He said that when self referrals are prevalent, then what is fun of pointing out whether the referrals were necessary or unnecessary.