TRAL — One of Kashmir’s old healthcare facility, Sub-District Hospital Tral here in Pulwama district has been lagging behind in terms of upgradation while other SDHs in the Valley were upgraded a long time ago.
Established during Maharaja’s rule, the hospital was established with an objective to provide healthcare to the rural people but the lack of government attention has marred its functioning. The people from hundreds of villages consider this hospital as life-saving institute but the hospital in reality doesn’t meet their expectation.
The officials responded that the hospital needs upgradation which will create posts for the required staff.
The hospital was never upgraded. Currently, out of 26 required staff, the hospital has just 13 doctors. “The hospital is running without key posts including much-needed Ophthalmologist and ENT.
A senior health official said that due to lack of upgradation, there is insufficient staff available. “Under the situation, often RBSK, BUMS doctors from different PHCs handle the OPD at the main hospital,” he said.
According to sources at Directorate of Health Services Kashmir, the SDH Pampore, SDH Bijbehara and SDH Sopore has 20-25 specialist doctors sanctioned while as SDH Tral has only seven posts sanctioned.
Technically, the hospital is SDH level by name but on papers, it is not. The SDH tag was provided some three decades back and no further enhancement was done by any government.
“The upgradation of the hospital and the creation of different posts was the duty of Member Legislative Assembly (MLAs) of the area who always turned blind eye towards it,” said another official.
The hospital is vital and the main choice for the people of 105 villages. Besides absorbing patient flow, patients are referred from New Type Primary Health Centres, Primary Health Centers, sub-centers and dispensaries.
Everyday dozens of patients from PHC Dardsara, PHC Aripal, PHC Kahilil and NTPHC Batagund are referred here. Even during 2014 floods, the hospital provided healthcare support to the patients from Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag districts.
Providing details about the average number of patients visiting the hospital annually, an official from SDH Tral said around 200455 patients are visiting its Out-Patients’ Department (OPD) annually. “During the same period, around 6954 patients were admitted in wards (IPD) and around 632 major and 1847 minor surgeries were performed in the hospital last year,” an official in the hospital said.
People now urge Lieutenant Governer Girish Chander Murmu to upgrade the hospital so that more posts are created for SDH Tral besides advanced machinery is provided which would mitigate the suffering of the people.
A top health official admitted that the hospital was never upgraded by the government. “We cannot bring more doctors or para-medical staff at SDH Tral because there is no creation of posts available there. The hospital must be upgraded so that further creation of different posts takes place,” he said.