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Bizarre! PDP legislator hikes OPD Ticket cost at Sub-district hospital Kokernag
11/22/2017 10:44:06 PM
Saahil Suhail
Early Times Report

Anantnag, Nov 22: While state government is trying hard to implement free medical policy, Abdul Rahim Rather-PDP Legislator from South Kashmir's Kokernag assembly constituency- has directed authorities at Sub-district hospital Kokernag to hike the fee of OPD ticket and other basic medical facilities.
A group of locals from Kokernag told Early Times over phone that hospital employees at Ticket Counter have started charging Rs 10 instead of Rupees five for the Outdoor Patient Department (OPD) ticket.
They claimed that rates of other medical facilities including ultra sonography, blood test, x ray tests have been hiked and isn't at par with the other hospitals of the district.
"The authorities at Sub-district hospital Kokernag are fleecing the patients and higher authorities are acting as mute spectators as they aren't heeding their pleas," they alleged.
"We don't know why the rates have been doubled in this hospital when the rates of same things (Tests and OPD Ticket) hasn't been revised even District Hospital Anantnag," Mushtaq Ahmad, a resident said.
On being contacted, Block Medical Officer Kokernag, Dr Aabid Bashir admitted that the rates have been revised.
"The decision regarding this hike has been taken by the Hospital Development Committee, the Chairman of which is the Hon'ble MLA of the area. This committee is fully authorized to take such decisions unilaterally after a proper approval by its members", he said.
Justifying the decision, MLA Kokernag Abdul Rahim Rather said, "We used to receive complaints against the staff deployed on ticket counter of the hospital that most of the time they (staff members) weren't returning five rupees to those people who would by a ticket so to put an end on this menace we decided to double the cost of OPD ticket." He also admitted that rates of other medical facilities being provided by the hospital have also been revised.
He also agreed that the decision to double the cost of OPD ticket was taken to benefit those employees working on Hospital Development Fund.
"Those people working HDF are getting 1000 rupees per month so this decision will also help the authorities in increasing their monthly remuneration," he added.
However, the PDP legislator's decision has infuriated the local poor population and it is totally against the essence of free medical policy.
Important to mention here, Hospital Development Fund according to norms is purely meant for developing the hospital and its facilities not for salary of the volunteer employees.
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