Abid Hussain

Catering to 3500 households, Budgam's vital PHC functions only for 6 hours

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Surasyar (Budgam), Dec 31: The Primary Health Centre (PHC) Surasyar in Chadoora area of Budgam district is giving tough time to thousands of people as it remains open only from 10 am to 4 pm.

Around 17 kms from Chadoora and 27 kms from Budgam townships, Surasyar PHC has a sound infrastructure and is equipped with testing machinery. However, the only problem according to locals is that government has neglected it in terms of providing 24 hour service and posting of allopathic doctors.

"Besides infrastructure, our PHC has an X-ray section, laboratory and dental facilities available but health department is not making full use of them," Javid Ahmad, a local said.

The PHC caters to around 3500 households of Surasyar, Kutbal, Negoo, Jabbed, Bathwoder, Boienen, Bonyar, Peathyar and other villages. But due to non-availability of 24 hour service, the people are facing severe issues.

"After 4 pm, we are forced to visit sub-district hospital Chadoora,” Ahmad said.

Earlier, in 2017, locals said that the PHC was thrown open for day and night services providing relief to thousands of households. "Unfortunately only after few months the service was stopped by health department without citing any reason," they added.

Residents of Surasyar told Kashmir Images that the PHC is run by a dentist and two ISM (Indian System of Medicine) doctors who are practising allopathic medicine, which they are not supposed to do.

"Our lives are being risked. How can an ISM doctor prescribe allopathic medicine?" Asked Mohammad Ashraf,  another local.

He said that they have raised the issues of PHC with Block Medical Officer (BMO) Chadoora, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Budgam and District Development Commissioner, but to no avail

When contacted, BMO Chadoora, Dr Dilhair Ahmad said that PHC is facing acute shortage of staff due to which they cannot provide 24 hours service.

“We have a lone MBBS and ISM doctor available at the PHC," he said, adding, “Government should depute more doctors here so that we can make PHC functional for day and night services."

However, locals rebutted him saying hospital does not have any MBBS doctor.

Admitting that besides a dental surgeon, hospital has only two ISM practitioners who are prescribing alternative medicine, CMO Budgam, Dr Nazir Ahmad Bhat said, "Yes, they are practicing allopathy which they can't."

He added that few pharmacists and orderlies remain present at PHC for night also.

Meanwhile, locals appealed Jammu and Kashmir Governor and Director Health Services Kashmir to make PHC functional throughout and depute MBBS doctors here.

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