Severe staff shortage plagues Tanghdar Medical Block; official says 60% posts vacant

Health Kupwara

Severe staff shortage plagues Tanghdar Medical Block; official says 60% posts vacant

Man doctors transferred to remote area unwilling to join, govt may now post only local staff

Jahangeer Ganaie

Srinagar, Nov 25: The Tanghdar Medical Block in north Kashmir’s frontier Kupwara district is facing a severe staff shortage, impacting patient care in this remote area.

An official informed that there have been massive staff deficiencies at all levels, including gazetted, non-gazetted, paramedics and other technical staff, for years.

Almost 60 percent of the sanctioned posts in the block are vacant, which is affecting patient care, he said.

According to the official, out of approximately 150 sanctioned posts, around 65 are filled, while 75 remain vacant. “This shortage includes 18 medical officers and three dental surgeons among the 31 sanctioned posts for doctors,” he said.

Locals said the area remains cut off from the rest of the valley for months, and there should be extra staff for this block.

Despite repeated demands from the locals for the upgradation of SDH Tanghdar to a 100-bedded facility, no action has been taken on the ground, they said, adding that the SDH lacks a permanent anaesthetist, and critical medical specialists, including paediatrics, ENT and Ophthalmology, are absent.

During the summer, patients can be shifted to areas with better facilities, but in winter, when the region is cut off, no such options are available, locals said.

They said the Director of Health Services Kashmir was recently informed about the issues in the area during a visit, and assurances were given that these problems would be addressed. They urged higher authorities to intervene to prevent suffering, especially during the winter months.

Official sources revealed that some doctors and staff have been posted at a single location in the block for decades, disregarding government circulars on transfer policies.

“This situation arises because many doctors transferred to the area are unwilling to join. The government is now considering posting only local staff in an effort to address the persistent staff shortage,” they said.

A senior health official, acknowledging the staff dearth, said the government is actively working to resolve these issues soon. “An anaesthetist is providing services there on a rotational basis, and efforts are on to ensure that the healthcare system is not adversely affected anywhere,” he said—(KNO)

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