HEALTHCARE MANPOWER AUDIT: Staff shortage apart, even sanctioned strength not enough

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Manpower audit of J&K’s health sector has revealed hospitals in the state are struggling to cope with the ever-increasing rush of patients due to acute shortage of doctors and paramedics.
The situation in the state is further compounded by absence of private sector healthcare.
In a grim reminder of how poorly the hospitals are staffed, the audit clearly states that the existing sanctioned staff strength, even after all the vacancies are filled, is barely sufficient to manage the patient rush in the health institutions.
Identifying key manpower gaps in the health sector, the exercise has revealed five district hospitals still have the same sanctioned manpower as that of sub district hospitals.
Underlining the need for creation of more staff positions in the district hospitals, the report points out that staffing proposals mooted for Bandipora, Ganderbal, Shopian, Samba and Reasi district hospitals are yet to be cleared.
All these places were upgraded to districts way back in 2007 by the PDP- Congress coalition led by Ghulam Nabi Azad.
According to the audit report, the shortage of staff for sub district hospitals and primary health centres upgraded in 2002 has severely affected working of these institutions.
Only six posts were sanctioned for these institutions against the requirement of 140.
The audit has pointed out that 640 new sub-centres are also facing dearth of manpower as per the Indian Public Health Standards. These centres were made functional by engaging one auxiliary nursing midwife, way bellow the prescribed standards. 
The audit states that there is continuous need and demand for expansion of public health sector in the state due to absence of private sector.
“In our State, nearly 97% of the healthcare needs (OPD/IPD) of the 143.24 lakh population of the State are met by the public health Institutions as the private sector has not developed in the State due to its geographical remoteness, security scenario and restrictive land laws,” the report states.
The audit was conducted by the Health and Medical Education department in line with the announcement made in the 2017-18 budget.
 

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