Abid Hussain

Govt nursing school in Budgam remains non-functional since 2012

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There is a nexus between govt officials and owners of private nursing schools which has rendered government nursing school in Budgam non-functional, allege local residents

Budgam, Feb 19: Constructed in 2012, at a cost of Rs 3.90 crore, for imparting training to aspiring healthcare professionals, government has failed to make Auxiliary Nursing Midwifery (ANM) School functional in Budgam.

Located in Khanpora area, two kilometres away from district headquarters, a fully-furnished building meant for training health professionals has been turned into an office for Deputy Chief Medical officer Budgam. However, officials said they did it only to protect building from encroachment.

This school was among 12 others sanctioned by the Centre for Jammu and Kashmir. According to locals, other schools are currently producing healthcare professionals, while as Budgam’s school is gathering dust.

The facility was inaugurated by former Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather and Minister for Health Sham Lal Sharma in presence of Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi, Javed Ahmad Dar, Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen, Javed Mustafa Mir and Dr Shafi Ahmad Wani.

Budgam School has modern labs, lecture halls, recreation hall, adequate boarding and lodging facilities, hostel, mess and every necessity for the students, but due to negligence of government, these facilities are not utilized. Even, the non-functional ANM School was also upgraded to General Nursing Midwifery in 2016.

The nursing school was supposed to offer courses for Lab Assistant, Operation Theatre Technician, Dental Assistant, X-ray Assistant, Ophthalmic Assistant and Anesthesia Assistant and others, however, government has failed to make it functional and the students are compelled to seek admission either at local private nursing institutes or the institutes of outside state.

Budgam residents alleged that that there is a “nexus between government officials and owners of private nursing schools” which has rendered government nursing school in Budgam non-fucntional.

“Had Khanpora School been functional, poor residents of Budgam would have admitted their wards in the school as they can’t afford to admit them in private institutes,” they said.

Similar views were expressed by insiders in the health department, saying it is because of the presence of private nursing institutes, Budgam School has been neglected.

Furthermore, both locals and health officials said that from deputy commissioner Budgam to all top officers and political leaders, everyone was apprised about the issue of ANM School, but they did not pay heed.

While appealing Jammu and Kashmir Governor, Satya Pal Malik to take serious note of the issue, they said, “We request Governor Satya Pal Malik to direct the concerned authorities to make the nursing school functional without any delay.”

Chief medical officer Budgam, Dr Nazir Ahmad Bhat said that he does not have information about ANM School.

When contacted director health services Kashmir, Dr. Kunzes Dolma said that staff is yet to be sanctioned for the school.

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