The government of J&K needs to instill a sense of regulation among private players in the healthcare sector. Normally, a sense of unaccountability prevails among the owners of these private clinics and laboratories who take gullible patients for a ride.
On an average, there is a daily report in the press about the patients complaining about medicos who directly or indirectly force them to visit their private clinics. For the last few decades there has been a growing nexus between various pharmaceutical companies and a section of doctors who want to mint money by hook or crook. What has added to this menace is the apathetic attitude of the regulatory authorities who have become mute spectators to this entire travesty.
Leaving aside rural belts, even towns and both the cities Srinagar and Jammu have become stock exchanges for the so-called healthcare entrepreneurs. Invest in a medical shop, private clinic, or a laboratory and earn fast and fat bucks with impunity.
Though the authorities claim hundreds of crores being spent on the healthcare facilities in J&K under various flagships schemes of the central government, an ordinary citizen seems still to be bewildered about these facilities. There is no doubt that the government hospitals are being upgraded with state of the art infrastructure but there is a lack of will to make the staff including the administration of these hospitals accountable for effective healthcare services supposed to be delivered to an ordinary citizen.
Having access to the power corridors to influence medicos for priority admissions in the government hospitals has become a new normal. Similarly, one needs to have good connections to make it to the list of surgeries.
The government must act by taking certain concrete measures so that the common people heave a sigh of relief in these government run hospitals. Or otherwise, declare these hospitals as commercial institutions and scrap the Hippocratic oath from the medical colleges in Jammu and Kashmir.