Karnah Kupwara :The health block in Tangdar is grappling with a severe staff shortage, particularly in SDH Tangdar. The recent transfer of a Dental technician after 35 years of service has left the lone Dental surgeon to handle an overwhelming population of 80,000. Despite having nine dental staff positions in the block, including four Dental Surgeons, three Junior dental technicians, one Senior dental technician, and one supervisor dental technician, vacancies persist. Notably, one post of Junior dental technician is under litigation.
Remarkably, three dental surgeon positions have remained vacant for decades, and the current solitary dental surgeon, a postgraduate with 18 years of service in SDH Tangdar, has not been transferred despite government circulars on overstays.
Furthermore, SDH Tangdar lacks a full-time anesthetist since the retirement of a local anesthetist two years ago. A rotation policy for anesthetists has been implemented with frequent breaks. Instances of doctors modifying transfer orders, as exemplified by Dr. Rauf Zargar’s recent case, contribute to the staff turmoil.
Critical medical specialties, including Pediatrics, ENT, Ophthalmology, and Internal Medicine, are absent in SDH Tangdar, significantly impacting patient care. Despite persistent public demands for upgrading the hospital to a 100-bed facility, there has been no response.
Out of 149 sanctioned employees, only 62 are in position, with 87 vacancies in the block. In the doctor category, out of 31 sanctioned posts, only 10 are filled, leaving 21 vacant, including 18 Medical Officers and 3 dental surgeons. Among 118 non-gazetted posts, 52 are occupied, while 66 remain unfilled. The absence of replacements for retired employees, delayed reliever appointments, and a prolonged lack of recruitment in various positions compound the crisis.
NHM employees in Tangdar endure prolonged service without a transfer policy, leading to dejection and stress, exacerbated by family issues. Disparities in salaries, with Srinagar employees receiving higher amounts, have demoralized the Tangdar workforce.
1. Implement fixed tenures for employees in Tangdar with competitive salaries and benefits to attract and retain staff.
2. Establish a fair transfer policy for those with extended service in Tangdar.
3. Recognize and reward employees serving in challenging areas with preferential postings.
4. Introduce an online option for selecting the next posting, similar to practices in the education department.