Despite retaining health portfolio for 19 years, Jammu leaders couldn’t improve hospitals

Jammu, June 02 (KMS): The first and second wave of the deadly coronavirus has exposed the ailing health sector in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) in general and Jammu in particular.

During the second wave, the Jammu region has been witnessing an unprecedented death toll, especially in the Government Medical College Jammu so a debate has started to fix responsibility of high mortality rate. Jammu as of date has logged 1,067 Covid deaths — the highest among all 20 districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

Ironically after 2002, all health ministers of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir belonged to Jammu but despite having health ministers for the last 19 years, the health sector is still ailing in this part of IIOJK.

For a brief period, only Taj Mohi-ud-Din from Kashmir remained Health Minister during the NC-Congress regime otherwise this portfolio remained with Jammu.  After the formation of the PDP-Congress government in IIOJK in the year 2002, Choudhary Lal Singh became Health Minister.  After Lal Singh was elected as Lok Sabha member, Pandit Mangat Ram Sharma and Suman Bhagat of Congress remained as Health Ministers of the occupied territory.  During the PDP-BJP regime first, it was Choudhary Lal Singh who held this portfolio and after him the same portfolio was handed over to Bali Bhagat.  After Bali Bhagat was removed from the cabinet, the health portfolio was handed over to Dr. Devendra Manyal, who himself is a doctor.

Despite retaining the health portfolio for 19 long years, leaders of Jammu failed to create adequate infrastructure for the region where pandemic has wreaked havoc.

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