Mehbooba seeks Union health ministry support for flood-ravaged Valley hospitals
Member parliament Mehbooba Mufti, also president of opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday said the doctor-patient ratio in Kashmir is 1:1000 far below the standard World Health Organization (WHO) doctor-patient ratio of 1:500 and asked Union health ministry to announce package to restore critical care in flood-ravaged hospitals.india Updated: Oct 15, 2014 19:20 IST
Member parliament Mehbooba Mufti, also president of opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday said the doctor-patient ratio in Kashmir is 1:1000 far below the standard World Health Organization (WHO) doctor-patient ratio of 1:500 and asked Union health ministry to announce package to restore critical care in flood-ravaged hospitals.
Speaking at the Parliamentary Consultative Committee meeting on Health and Family Welfare in New Delhi, Mufti urged the Union Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan to announce special financial package for rebuilding critical care infrastructure in health sector which has been severely damaged by the floods at almost all the leading hospitals in Kashmir.
"Most of the vital diagnostic equipments including CT Scans, X-Ray Plants, Laboratories and blood banks at Srinagar's referral hospitals - SMHS, Bone and Joints, Lal Ded, JVC and GB Pant - have suffered immense damage due to floods and the same needs to be restored on priority basis," she said.
"The situation calls for both material and technical intervention, sooner the better, from the Government of India to bring the health sector back on rails," she added.
The MP from south Kashmir's Anantnag constituency urged the Medical Council of India (MCI) to relax the norms for J&K so that the newly sanctioned five medical colleges are made functional immediately to cope up with the shortage of doctors in future.
"Ironically the doctor-patient ratio in Kashmir is 1:1000 far below the World Health Organization (WHO) standard doctor-patient ratio of 1:500," she said.
In the aftermath of the flood tragedy, Mufti said, the Government of India should give a serious thought to the PDP's proposal for setting up an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Kashmir as done in several other states. She also demanded setting up of National Institute of Public Health in J&K.
"A major crisis witnessed during floods was that due to complete breakdown of the healthcare infrastructure in Srinagar and lack of connectivity, the patients had to be diverted to less equipped hospitals both within and outside the city," she added.
"Availability of integrated healthcare facilities in the peripheries could help in coping up with the crisis-like situations in the event of any natural calamity," she said.
The PDP president said another major area of concern is that while funds are being provided under NRHM for construction of buildings like OPD Blocks, IPD Blocks, Operation Theatres etc, no commensurate budgetary allocation is made available for equipping these structures with the matching healthcare infrastructure.
"While making allocation of funds for construction of buildings, funds have to be simultaneously made available for installation of requisite infrastructure like diagnostic equipment and blood banks at these new centres so that these facilities are put to proper use without delay," she said.
Mufti said claimed there were damages to medical stores in Kashmir too due to floods. "A drug bank should be created both at the provincial and district-levels to ensure speedy availability of quality life-saving drugs and surgical support on subsidized rates to the patients," she said.
Mehbooba also called for moving the health sector from a "cure" to a "care" model. She called for introducing "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" which seeks to link the quality of care with the cost of care. "This law must seek to rebalance the system's resource allocation and reward the value of care over volume of care," she said.