LD hospital, emergencies functional
Srinagar, Mar 10: The ongoing employees strike has crippled healthcare system across the Kashmir valley as most of the paramedical and clerical staff in hospitals stayed away from work on the call of the employees’ Joint Consultative Committee.
The impact of JCC’s strike call is prevalent in almost all the
hospitals of the Valley including premier healthcare centre SK Institute of Medical Sciences, SMHS and other government medical college associated hospitals.
Inpatient care at SKIMS has got reduced to taking care of emergency cases while the routine work has almost turned defunct. All general registration counters have been closed as there is none to man them.
“I came in the morning and since then I am waiting here at the ticketing counter. But there is no one to give me an entry ticket to the OPD and to tell me which room I have to go to,” said Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din a jaundice patient from Kangan.
While doctors remained present inside their OPD rooms, there was no support staff, to manage the heavy rush of patients waiting outside. The work in the laboratories also remained affected for want of adequate manpower.
“My brother is admitted here and I have to take out an X-ray of his neck. But when I brought him to the lab I was told that the technician is on strike so it can’t be done today,” said an attendant waiting outside the digital X-ray lab.
President Non-Gazetted employees’ welfare association, Deen Muhammad Gadda, told Greater Kashmir that all eight general surgery wards in the hospital have been closed and only emergency theatres were working.
“We have exempted emergencies and the regional cancer centre rest, all routine work has been stopped. Even the canteens and transportation, excluding ambulances, have stooped working,” they said.
Medical superintendent SKIMS, Dr Muhammad Amin Tabish, said they have started a virtual OPD in emergency section of the hospital “and we are also taking care of patients in normal OPD to the extent we could.”
He however accepted that the patients were suffering “especially due to partial functioning of OPD.”
The strike showed impact in different government medical college associated hospitals also. The routine work in the outpatient departments was affected in all GMC associated hospitals including SMHS, bone and joints hospital, GB pant, and psychiatric disease hospital.
Senior doctors in SMHS said only causality section of the hospital was working and everything else including OPD and labs had been closed. The patients turning in for treatment from far off areas had to return dejected due to inadequate hospital staff.
“I was listed for surgery today and I had been given this date last month. But today when I came to the hospital for surgery I was told that they can’t operate upon me due to lack of staff. Now they have listed me for surgery on the first working day after the strike ends,” said a patient Abdul Rahim, at SMHS.
The senior doctors in the hospital said, apart form the OPD, the strike has badly hit the conduction of surgeries in the hospitals.
“Since yesterday we are only taking care of the emergency cases because we are under-staffed. Most surgeries are being postponed. We feel for the patients but we can’t do anything for the dearth made us handicapped,” a senior surgeon in SMHS.
In psychiatric disease hospital the doctors had to see the patients in the corridors for there was no support staff available.
“All peons, paramedics are on strike and we are virtually working on the road sides,” senior doctors said.
The strike, however, showed lesser impact in Valley’s sole maternity hospital Lal Ded hospital which the JCC leader Abdul Qayoom Wani, said has been exempted from strike.
“Our mothers and sisters go there for treatment so we have asked the employee to work normally there,” he said.
The principal GMC, Dr Shahida Mir, said they were trying to manage the patient rush “but the system isn’t working as it should ideally.”
“Definitely there is an impact of the strike. Except Lal Ded hospital and chest disease hospital OPD were partially functional in all hospitals,” she said.
Reports said the strike crippled patient care in other districts as well.
When the minister for law and parliamentary affairs, Ali Muhammad Sagar, was asked about the inconvenience caused to public and government’s alternatives, he said: “Government has done whatever it could. We had appealed the employees not to go for strike because we have already accepted their main demands but they still went on strike. They must realize the inconvenience caused to the public,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 10 Mar 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 10 Mar 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 11 Mar 2010 00:00:00 IST
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