STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: The aim of the Health and Medical Education Department may have been improving health care infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir but it appears prestigious AIIMS project for Jammu does not figure high on their agenda. AIIMS was sanctioned for Jammu by the Union Government at the end of long struggle and indefinite strike by the AIIMS Coordination Committee in August 2015. Despite making an announcement on setting up of AIIMS work on ground zero is not moving at all. It is so because the state government agencies have till date failed to acquire the land earmarked for the prestigious project. At present only a sign board is standing tall on the selected piece of land near Vijaypur in Samba district. According to official sources, the focus of the State Government agencies is on rehabilitating 204 nomadic families who are currently occupying portion of the forest land shortlisted for the project. Till the time these families vacate from the major portion of land no forward movement can be achieved. Despite according high priority and constantly reviewing the progress of the major infrastructure projects the State Health Minister is not taking keen interest in expediting the work on the project to ensure its timely completion. The state of affairs of existing health care facilities in the Government Medical College and other associated hospitals is not up to the mark. Ironically, very little effort has been made in the recent years to enhance capacity building of these health care institutions. These institutions are not only grappling with shortage of manpower but also lack visionary and able administrators who could really make sincere efforts towards improving health care facilities. Patients often suffer in the absence of expert doctors and also face the brunt of medical negligence at the hands of support staff. Several faculties are running the show with scarce manpower and have failed to convince the senior authorities to upgrade the facilities to run the show. All successive health ministers have focused their energies on galvanising transfer industry in the health sector than upgrading the health care facilities. Ironically, the State Health and Medical Education Department too has failed to rope in errant private clinics of big corporate hospitals from outside the State. Despite slapping them with closure notices these private clinics continue to exploit and loot poor patients in the absence of concrete action against them.
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