Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir government has claimed an improvement in health facilities this year - a claim dismissed by some patients forced to come here from remote areas for treatment.
National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) Director Yashpal Sharma claimed in a release issued on Friday: "Health indicators of the state have improved for the year till December. Except few, they (indicators) are better than the national figures."
The state figures had estimated a birth rate of 18.3, death rate of 5.7 and infant mortality rate of 43 (per 1,000). The corresponding national figures were 22.1, 7.2 and 47 (per 1,000), he said.
"The infant mortality rate has decreased in the state from 45 (per 1,000) in 2009 to 43 (per 1,000) in 2010. And child sex ratio in the state is 941 (girls per 1,000 boys) against the national average of 933 (girls per 1,000 boys)," he said.
According to the release, 75 percent of Rs.666.23 crore allotted to the NRHM in state "have been utilised up to November".
Besides development and upgradation of the infrastructure, the mission procured "50 basic life support ambulances to be placed on the national highways".
More doctors and paramedics were being employed and their salaries too was being enhanced. Various schemes have been enumerated for service to pregnant women and sick new-borns, he said.
However, the government`s claims about improved health facilities were dismissed by some patients and their kin who had come to Jammu for treatment from remote areas.
Nusrat Bee, 60, said she brought her daughter-in-law Shamim from the remote Mahore area of Udhampur district, about 200 km north of Jammu, for orthopaedic treatment at a private hospital in Jammu.
Speaking to IANS, she mocked at the government`s claim: "If this is true then why did we have to take the trouble of bring my daughter-in-law to Jammu. There was no health facility in our area and we hired a taxi to reach here."
Babita Sambyal, 26, from Vijaypur, a town 35 km south of Jammu, was brought here by her husband as there was "no doctor to attend on her during her labour in their area".