While some district hospitals are operating well, many are understaffed and inadequately equipped to handle the growing number of patients and their healthcare needs. There have been multiple incidents where patients were shifted to Srinagar because the local district hospital lacked the necessary expertise, particularly, the equipment. Because of a lack of proper resources and facilities, patients are unable to obtain the care they require in their areas, forcing them to go to Srinagar for treatment; or routinely referred by doctors. No doubt there has been a significant improvement in the healthcare facilities in the districts, but more has to be done to control the transferring of patients.
The Government established patient referral rules over two years ago, which the hospitals momentarily implemented before reverting to their previous practices—rapid referrals, particularly in maternity cases, which are typically challenging. But, by the time those patients used to arrive in Srinagar, they had already wasted a lot of valuable time, which also contributed to a rise in mortality in such cases. The district healthcare system needs to be streamlined, with a variety of specialists stationed in the district hospital with all the essential equipment. Also, there is a critical need to upgrade the district-level healthcare facilities, which entails expanding the Jan Aushadhi Stores’ network, hiring more healthcare professionals, upgrading the facilities, and equipment, and expanding access to medicines.
If implemented promptly, these measures will assist to lessen the strain on tertiary care institutions and guarantee that the patients receive the care they require in their local districts. To improve the general healthcare service delivery of the population, the Government also has to invest more in public health initiatives. There could be no other solution than to lessen the overcrowding at tertiary care institutions, as this is negatively affecting the standard of care given to patients, leaving most of them fuming and complaining. Kashmir has the potential and capacity to improve—which it has done in certain places—but it needs to do more and continue to do better right away to stop the practice of referring patients at an alarming rate, because all it is doing is creating an imbalance.
Leave a Reply