Harsh Dev Singh NPP MLA and leader of Panthers Legislature Party has lambasted the Health Deptt. for opening Health Centres in cities and Towns without requirement for the same only to accommodate the spouses and relations of Ministers and Bureaucrats. Speaking in the legislative Assembly yesterday during discussion on the working of Health Deptt., he said that no rational criteria had been evolved by the Govt. for establishment of Health Centres, PHCs and other Health institutions in the state with the result that the remote and far flung areas of the state were worst affected. He said not only surplus centres were opened in cities and towns with ulterior motives but large scale attachments of doctors and paramedical staff were made to favour the influential and blue eyed. He ridiculed the claims of govt. repeatedly made during the last five years to provide health care facilities and new centres in hitherto deprived and remote areas and regretted that govt. had totally neglected such areas. He further deplored that even the already existing centres in rural areas were facing chronic staff deficiency. He said that more than 6700 posts of doctors, Assistant Surgeons and paramedical staff were laying vacant in the state but the health Deptt. had failed to take steps to fill up the same thus adversely affecting the health care system particularly in the remote areas. Mr. Singh strongly condemned the Health Deptt. for its failure to control the spread of deadly disease ‘dengue’ which had spread its tentacles all over Jammu province and claimed several lives. He called for adequate measures on war footing to address the most menacing threat posed by this fatal disease.Expressing concern over the lack of infrastructure in the existing health institutions, Mr. Singh said that more than 80% of the PHCs / HCs in rural areas were functioning in rented ‘Kachha’ houses besides facing acute deficiency of equipments and life saving drugs. He said that govt. had announced the Health Infrastructure Development Programme (HIDP) amounting to Rs. 2600 crore in 2009 for meeting the infrastructure requirements of needy health institutions but regretted that not a single penny under the scheme had been released anywhere in the state. He rapped the state govt. for its failure to effectively pursue the release of funds under HIDP with the govt. of India this depriving the bonafide requirements of the deserving health institutions.
Flaying the govt. for its apathetic and indifferent approach towards this vital sector, Mr. Singh said that NHRM had collapsed in the state and the intended benefits were not percolating down to the gross root level. Alleging collapse of health care system in the state, Mr. Singh remarked that Health deptt. was required to take care of its own failing health. He advised the Health Minister to activate the administrative machinery under his control, implement the available schemes in the proper perspective, address the health care woes of rural areas and vigorously pursue the urgent requirements of the state with the Govt. of India.