Patients protest ‘absence’ of doctors in OPD at Kupwara hospital

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The patients and their attendants on Wednesday protested against “non-availability” of doctors at District Hospital Kupwara accusing the management of leaving the medical facility in disarray.
The protest broke out after the patients and the attendants did not find doctors present in the Out Patient Department (OPD) of the hospital at around 11 AM.
They raised slogans against the chief medical officer (CMO) demanding action against the doctors who according to them were not present.
"After we raised hue and cry, two doctors reached the OPD at around 11 AM," said Ishfaq Ahmad Mir, a protestor.
"The management has left the medical facility in shambles. What is the point in having a CMO to head the facility when doctors are not accountable and patients are made to suffer?" he asked.
The 50-bedded facility located in the middle of Kupwara town and not far from deputy commissioner’s office receives at least 1400 patients in OPD every day, officials said.
“The facility facing shortage of medical officers and specialists for past few years is supposed to cater to a population of over three lakh people from Kupwara town and its adjoining areas including Hayhama, Bohipora, Batergam, Gushi and Halmatpora,” they said.
The hospital, they said, receives referrals from border towns including Tangdhar, Teetwal, Keran, Jummagund, Kamkadi and Machi.
Block medical officer Kupwara Dr. Farid Shaheen Chowdary assured that action would be taken against the doctors if found guilty of dereliction of duty.
"We conduct at least ten surgeries each day at the hospital and every morning doctors visit the wards for a post-surgery follow up treatment," Dr. Chowdary told Greater Kashmir.
"It takes at least 20-30 minutes to the doctors to see the post surgery patients and that may have caused some delay. We are committed to provide better healthcare despite the shortage of doctors at the facility," he added

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