Denied Basics

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In a tragic incident, a pregnant lady was denied ambulance by Primary Health Centre, Kalaroos in frontier Kupwara district, which led to her delivering a baby inside a cab. The baby couldn’t survive and died on the spot.

This is not the first instance where a pregnant lady was forced to deliver a baby on the road, because of sheer negligence and highhandedness of doctors on the duty. It is ironic that despite a number of schemes meant to safeguard women during and after delivery, we still have such incidents happening. Though the doctor was terminated from his services but the larger issue of managing such sensitive cases has still remained a dream.

It is tragic that the state of basic health care facilities in far-flung areas is still not up to the mark. This forces a huge number of patients, who are in critical need of immediate medical attention to travel over a hundred kilometres to Srinagar for specialized treatment.

In last two decades, both central and state government have invested heavily in creating infrastructure to make lives of people living in such areas easy. But despite the infrastructure in place, such patients are sent to Srinagar by the doctors on duty at these primary health centres. It is not because they lack the expertise to tackle relatively complicated cases which arrive to them, but they lack the will to serve and instead refer these patients to Srinagar. If all the patients are to be referred to Srinagar then why do we need health centres in these places at the first place? What is the fun of spending crores of rupees every year to maintain these white elephants that serve none!

Why cannot a doctor, who works efficiently in urban areas, do the same when he/she is posted in far off areas?

There is immediate need to audit all these health centres which are built for sake of people and not just to provide jobs to some blue-eyed people who do not do justice with the very people they are supposed to serve. A doctor serving in these far off areas is the only hope for helpless patients’ like that pregnant lady who had to deliver her baby in a moving cab. The baby didn’t die rather she was murdered. How can a doctor, who draws a hefty salary to serve, deny any patient what is his/her rightfully? She was not asking for a favour by seeking an ambulance. It is her right as the citizen of this state, given to her by the government, and not by any doctor. Nobody can deny a patient a basic facility like an ambulance or a doctor. Why cannot doctors be the same noble souls they once were considered.

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