Srinagar, January 23: To improve and make maternity and child care services much effective and people friendly, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Wednesday demanded for clubbing of specialists doctors under single roof in designated hospitals especially at District and sub-district Hospitals.
“It is now time to move forward and reform health policies of state. What is the fun of having policies and interventions when a woman needs to travel hundreds of kilometres to deliver a baby?,” DAK questioned in a statement issued to KNO.
“When more than 80 percent deliveries are now conducted in government hospitals, it is high time to start two full fledged single roof maternity and child facilities in south and north Kashmir with 24×7 services,” said president DAK Dr Suhail Naik.
He said the birth of any baby is unpredictable life event and can happen any time in last trimester depending on medical or obstetrical conditions. “Further a mother can develop complication any time during birth process and may need lower section cesarian section LSCS on emergency basis,” he said.
“Therefore, to curb the referral to LD hospital and decrease its burden, the pooling and clubbing of staff, especially gynecologists, pediatricians, Radiologists and anesthesiologists, is a effective short term measure to significantly reduce rate of referrals and improve healthcare delivery in peripheral hospitals,” he added.
Dr Owais H Dar, General Secretary DAK said due to scattering of specialist doctors, comprehensive maternity and child service are compromised and are available only from 10 am to 4 pm, in most district and subdistrict hospitals. “The tragedy of Suraya should serve as eye-opener for the policy-makers. With current scenario of posting of doctors, it is the policyless system which forces the hospitals to offer only OPD services for the expecting mothers and carry out caesarean sections between the day hours only,” he added.
While the Lalla Ded Hospital incident has generated debate on various fronts, with government issuing guidelines in regard to the referral of the patients from the peripheries, the question that remains unanswered and unaddressed is that are the medicos are over-burdened and stressed beyond limits, he said.
On an average, the doctors in the valley work for 70-80 hours per week, which is against the norms and the Supreme Court directive, DR Dar said.
Lamenting government, Vice President DAK, Dr Mohamed Ashraf said that even district hospital Kupwara catering huge population is facing staff crunch and staff crunch problem is not specific to the district hospital Kupwara alone. “Due to political interference many specialist doctors were forced to get posted in constituency of politicians to satisfy their voter college,” Dr Ashraf added