Umaisar Gull Ganie
Kulgam, Sep 11: The Sub-District Hospital (SDH) at Damhal Hanjipora area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam, which is supposed to serve a population of over one lakh, functions in a dilapidated 10-bedded building and has been struggling for infrastructure for the past 13 years.
“The hospital is currently housed in a deteriorating structure and has only 10 beds, which is not enough for the population of over one lakh,” a health official, wishing anonymitysaid.
He said the original plan for the new and improved infrastructure for the SDH was sanctioned in 2010, but it never reached fruition despite 50 percent of the work being completed. “Patients visiting the hospital are frequently referred to the district hospital, further straining an already overwhelmed healthcare system,” he said.
The Sub-District Hospital also lacks essential medical professionals, such as gynaecologist, consultant, orthopedist and anaesthetist, the official added.
The locals also expressed their disappointment with the lack of progress on the new SDH. They said the government has failed to provide adequate healthcare facilities to the population of over one lakh residing in 52 villages of the tehsil Damhal Hanjipora.
The building has become a pawn in a political struggle among local leaders, each vying for credit, locals alleged.
“People are struggling for access to essential medical care, and many have to travel long distances for treatment. This is especially difficult for women and children,” they said.
Despite numerous attempts to contact the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Kulgam for a response, no answers were received.
However, Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Noorabad, Bashir Ul Hassan said that the hospital’s construction work is set to resume soon. “The District Administration Kulgam has taken up the issue with the Health and Medical Education Department. The project has secured funding of Rs 2 crore in this year’s Union Territory Capex Budget. The pending work has been tendered out, and we are expecting that work on the project will resume soon,” he said.