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Kashmir hospitals wrestling with staff shortages: Masoodi

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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Member of the Parliament from Anantnag Hasnain Masoodi on Sunday said the shortage of healthcare staff is adversely affecting patient care in hospitals across Kashmir.

The primary, secondary and tertiary health care hospitals across Kashmir division are running with only scant paramedical and medical staff, Masoodi said, adding that the shortage was adversely affecting services and patient care, besides putting the extra workload on the current staff.

“The shortage of nurses, doctors and technicians miring the healthcare system in Kashmir has grown increasingly severe now. As the demand for healthcare services continues to rise, our hospitals are struggling to meet patient needs. The sluggish recruitment process is unquestionably the main contributing factor to the worsening situation. Shortage of mid-level providers and allied healthcare professionals such as physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and certified registered nurse anaesthetists is widely being felt across govt hospitals in Kashmir. Not everyone can afford the hefty fees of private hospitals. Rural areas are experiencing more severe shortages than urban areas,” he said.

Govt should take immediate steps to mitigate the staff shortage by ensuring a swift recruitment process through JKSSB and JKPSC, he said adding, “The gazetted category, which plays a pivotal role in the medical hierarchy, has been particularly hard-hit. Notably, this includes essential positions such as medical officers, senior consultants in medicine, and consultant paediatricians, further compounding the staff crisis. In the non-gazetted category, the situation is equally concerning. Critical roles including anaesthesia assistants, junior nurses, and junior laboratory technicians face shortages, making it challenging to provide comprehensive healthcare services to the patients. Even the Class IV cadre, which supports the overall functioning of the hospital is currently vacant in a number of hospitals, adding to the strain on the existing workforce. I hope the government will rise to the situation and take immediate steps to replenish the workforce.”

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