Jammu And Kashmir High Court To Govt: Indicated Steps Which Are Taken To Address Shortage Of Medical Officers Staff In Jammu And Kashmir


The Jammu And Kashmir High Court in the case Balwinder Singh Vs State of J&K observed and seek the report from the UT administration wherein it indicated the steps which needs to be taken to address the critical shortage of Medical Officers and staff in the region.
The bench comprising of Chief Justice N Kotiswar Singh & Justice M A Chowdhary in the case observed while hearing the plea moved in the year 2018 by RTI Activist Balwinder Singh wherein it alleged acute shortage of medical officers and Paramedical Staff in various Health Institutions of Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in remote areas of Jammu Province.
The Public Interest Litigation is based on the information which is obtained under RTI Act wherein it has been disclosed that in several Districts of Jammu Province, there is a sixty to seventy percent short fall of Doctors and Paramedical staff.
The counsel, Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed along with Advocates Rahul Raina, Supriya Chouhan, and Mohd Zulkarnain Chowdhary, brought the attention of the court to the recent status report which is filed by the Health and Medical Education Department, Jammu and Kashmir.
Therefore, the report filed contained the comparative statement wherein it highlighted the availability of Doctors and Paramedical Staff in the Jammu and Kashmir provinces.
It has also been stated that as per the status report which is signed by the Deputy Secretary to Health Department on May 29, 2023 there being the significant difference in staff strength in both divisions. thus, in the Jammu Division, out of the total sanctioned strength of 1,390 Medical Officer posts, only 726 are currently occupied, leaving a staggering 664 vacancies and in the case of the non-gazetted and Class IV Employees in Jammu Division, there are 2,489 vacant positions out of the posts sanctioned 6868.
Further, the Kashmir Division seems to have a more favourable situation with 1,395 Medical Officers currently in position out of the total sanctioned strength of 1,467 and there are still 72 vacancies and for the non-gazetted and Class IV Employees in Kashmir Division, 5,976 out of 8,628 sanctioned posts are filled, while 2,651 positions remain vacant.
In the court the concerns of skewed figure are raised before the court wherein it directed direct the authorities to take necessary steps to fill up the vacancies in both provinces.
The bench in the case observed and seek detailed information on the measures being taken in far-flung areas like Reasi, Poonch, Ramban, Kupwara, Baramulla, etc., where the shortage appears to be even more significant.
Accordingly, the court listed the matter to be next heard on August 28, 2023.