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Impact of turmoil on the health care delivery system in Kashmir” Kashmir, heaven on earth?

Rathor, Mohammad Yousuf and Kausar, R. (2006) Impact of turmoil on the health care delivery system in Kashmir” Kashmir, heaven on earth? International Medical Journal Malaysia, 5 (2). pp. 1-14. ISSN 1823-4631

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KASHMIR – once known as Jannat-e-Benazir (the heaven unmatched) - is a unique Himalayan Valley having a soothing climate, lofty mountains with snow covered peaks, high-altitude meadows, gushing streams and gurgling springs with crystal clear water. Throughout the history, it has been recognized as one of the most beautiful places in this part of the world. Its scenic exquisiteness is augmented by the beauty of its inhabitants, who are most hospitable and their mutual harmony have been legendary. However, this unmatched beauty is challenged presently by the untold miseries of the inhabitants of this place, who suffer in this war torn place. Kashmir has a population of more than 11 million (Indian Jammu & Kashmir). The place has been going through the worst time in its recorded history; Sixteen years of turmoil have really taken its toll. More than 60,000 people have lost their lives and hundreds of thousands got disabled; thousands have been orphaned and innumerable widowed. Countless homes have lost their men – fathers, brothers, sons and husbands. Numerous parents with tears in their eyes are waiting for the return of their sons, who suddenly disappeared years ago. Every sphere of the life has got affected, education, economy and health care being the worst hit. Healthcare system is in rags. Hundreds of doctors feeling the physical, economic & mental brunt of the turmoil migrated leaving behind empty health centres and hospitals. Eminent doctors were mercilessly killed or tortured. Many others were kidnapped, humiliated, mercilessly beaten and put under threat. The exodus of specialists in various fields has affected the quality of care. Many departments in Government Medical College Srinagar previously ranked among the top 10 institutions of India, have virtually become empty. The century old SMHS hospital, attached to the Government Medical College, Srinagar - the only hope for the Valley’s hopeless patients - is gasping for its own life, like an old fort turning into ruins. Hardly any development has taken place in the last decade. The management and running of the hospital has become difficult due to financial crunch faced by the state. The number of functioning specialists falls far short of the requirements. Lack of life-saving medicines and equipment plagues all sections. A handful of physicians and surgeons nurturing this institution are themselves tense and bothered about their own survival. No doubt, there are a few big hospitals in Srinagar, but their number is less than the requirement under the WHO norms. As an example, there is a lone 500 bedded women’s hospital to cater to 1.2 million population of Srinagar. And then there is a constant inflow of patients from peripheries of the Valley - an exasperating load on these hospitals that is beyond their capacity to handle. Every day thousands of patients along with double the number of attendants flock to the city hospitals adding to their agony and chaos. Doctors have to work hard to handle the heavy patient inflow, especially in areas of accident, emergency and intra-natal care. A tertiary care women’s hospital, which was meant for high-risk care, sees itself flooded with normal deliveries eating up its material and manpower resources.

Item Type: Article (Journal)
Additional Information: 2309/14579
Uncontrolled Keywords: turmoil, Kashmir
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Medicine > Department of Internal Medicine
Depositing User: Ms Rosyidah Taju Rahim
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2013 14:32
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2014 12:38
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/14579

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