Srinagar hospitals running short of fuel
Cold Surgeries Put On Hold, Ambulance Service Hit
Srinagar, Jan 30: Shortage of fuel in associated hospitals of the Government Medical College Srinagar has brought the ambulance service and central heating systems there to a grinding halt, thus risking the lives of patients.
In the wake of ‘budgetary constraints’, the shortage of fuel in SMHS, Bone and Joints, G B Panth and Chest Disease Hospitals in Srinagar has hit the healthcare badly. “Operation theatres in the hospitals are opened on hourly basis and cold surgeries have been stopped in almost all hospitals except Lala Ded hospital,” the sources told Greater Kashmir.
They said the exhaustion of the budget has forced the hospital authorities to utilize Hospital Development Fund for procuring fuel for ambulances from local filling stations.
Sources said the Light Diesel Oil (LDO) required for central heating system is only available at the India Oil Corporation Depot at Pantha Chowk.
Sources said the LDO can be procured only once the online payments are made through concerned treasuries.
“The IOC doesn’t give fuel on credit and ask for advance payment which at present is very difficult for us because the state government has not released the money for it,” they said.
After “over utilization” of fuel during the past year’s crisis in the Valley, the hospitals are yet to get the extra budget for fuel procurement.
During 2010 the ambulances were used for more than normal days. “The demand and supply gap during the 2010 summer unrest exhausted the fuel budget,” they said.
A senior doctor in SMHS said they appraised the Medical Education Ministry several times about the issue but they did not pay any heed.
Medicos believe that children at the GB Panth and other hospitals are also at risk. “The shortage of fuel for central heating system can lead to Hypothermia, a potentially fatal condition which occurs when body temperature falls below 35 degrees Celsius,” they said.
A senior antitheist said: “The Operation Theatres cannot work and in case any emergency surgery is performed in subnormal temperature, it could lead to the death of the patient due to Hypothermia,” he said.
For performing surgeries in operation theatres, a temperature of 22 to 26 degrees Celsius is required, he said.
The Bone and Joints Hospital authorities are running the Operation Theatre on hourly basis.
They have postponed the cold surgeries. “We are not sure when the government would wake up and provide money for the fuel. Till then, we are utilizing fuel to meet the exigencies only,” said an Orthopaedician there. “We can’t take a risk. The usage of Operation Theatre has been cut short. Our indoor patients are freezing with cold.”
Same is the situation with SMHS and GB Panth hospitals. They have also postponed the cold surgeries fearing that they too might soon run short of fuel.
When contacted, the State Minister for Health and Medical Education, Javaid Ahmad Dar said: “Heating system won’t be stopped at any cost. The money required for procuring fuel for ambulances and heating system will be released shortly.”
Lastupdate on : Sun, 30 Jan 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 30 Jan 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 31 Jan 2011 00:00:00 IST
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