Dozens of patients, some of them crying with pain, were left waiting endlessly as doctors at Primary Health Centre (PHC) Warikhah- Boniyar in Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla district were absent from their duties.
The doctors posted in the PHC remain busy in private practice and did not attend the patients in the PHC, locals alleged.
They said the government health services in the remote Warikhah area of Boniyar tehsil are in shambles. The doctors are not serious about their job and remain absent from their duties which results in locking up of the hospital.
“The hospital remains locked most of the time. The concerned doctors sometimes come to the hospital in the morning for half- an- hour and leaves for private clinics in the town. Today there was no doctors here as we kept waiting,” said Owais Ahmad, a local of Warikhah.
The PHC Warikhah is located 21 kilometres from district headquarter Baramulla and caters to a population of 12,000 people. The hospital was inaugurated in 2011 with great pomp and show with the promise that problems on account of healthcare has ended.
Locals claim that since 2011, the concerned doctors did not take the job of attending the patients seriously with the result the patients face hardships.
Village head of Warikhah, Ghulam Mohammad Khan explaining the hardships being faced by the people said the hospital of Warikhah has hardly been functional since the day it was inaugurated in 2011. Doctors come just to pay a formal visit, they never attend the patients, they come for an hour or two and they go back locking the hospital.
“I have personally visited the office of Block Medical Officer (BMO) several times and raised this issue but he never paid heed to our problems,” Khan claimed.
The villagers said the electricity transformer for the hospital was arranged by the Sarpanch and other politically influenced people as the concerned department never feel need for the improvements of the hospital.
The Chief Medical Officer Baramulla Bashir Ahmad Chalkoo refuted the allegations and said, “That is not the case. The PHC is not a 24×7 hospital but a 10 am to 4 pm health centre. So anyone coming after 4 pm would find the health centre locked”.
When asked about the allegations of doctors being absent on duty, CMO Baramulla said, “Yes earlier there was a complaint of unauthorised absence of a doctor but action was taken against the doctor. It is not a routine case now as alleged by the villagers’, he said.