Valley hospitals lack vital equipment

Experts advocate separate Purchase Committee for Srinagar


Srinagar, Jan 4: Absence of a full-fledged Purchase Committee (PC) to procure vital drugs and equipment is proving detrimental for the patient care in Kashmir hospitals.
 The two committees one each in Kashmir and Jammu regions have been established for procurement of drugs and other equipment for hospitals in the concerned divisions.
 However, in contrary to Purchase Committee Jammu, the Purchase Committee Srinagar has been empowered just to procure drugs and equipment for Radiology department of the SMHS hospital. “For other equipment the PC-Srinagar has to depend on PC-Jammu, which is creating hassles in procuring the equipment for hospitals here,” sources said. They attributed the shortage of the vital equipment in the Valley hospitals to the indifferent attitude of the PC-2 towards Valley hospitals.
 The Government Medical College Srinagar associated hospitals are facing shortage of vital equipment including Excimer Laser, Baby warmers, Transfer Ventilators, Microtome, Safety Cabinets, Tissue Processors and many more to mention. Same is the situation in the hospitals working under Directorate of Health, Kashmir.
 Despite state government releasing Rs 2 crore in the beginning of 2010 for procurement of Excimer Laser for Ophthalmology department in SMHS hospital here, the Purchase Committee Jammu is yet to notify the tenders. Due to lack of Excimer Laser the Ophthalmology department had sent several eye patients injured during the recent unrest outside state for the treatment.
 Senior doctors in SMHS hospital underscored the need for establishing Directorate of Procurement for the state at the pattern of SKIMS, Soura, PGI Chandigarh or AIIMS New Delhi to avoid the hassles in procurement of the machines.
 For the purchase of Excimer laser they said SMHS hospital had sent the specifications to PC-2 Jammu in February last year but they are yet to purchase it.
 Of required Rs 2 crore funds for procuring the equipment the Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy, Dr Farooq Abdullah had given Rs 1 crore from Member Parliament Local Area Development fund to GMC Srinagar and Rs 1 crore had been allotted from the state exchequer by the Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather.
 Sources said GMC associated hospitals were lacking several essential equipment due to the hassles created by the PC-2. Even after authorities from Lalla Ded hospital have written to government that they were in urgent need of Baby Warmers, state government is silent over the issue.
 Similarly, the SMHS hospital and GB Panth hospitals are lacking Transfer Ventilators, Microtome, Safety Cabinets and Tissue Processors.
 Pertinently, the Purchase Committee-1(Srinagar) is headed by Government Medical College principal Dr Shahida Mir. While as the charge for the PC-2 (Jammu) has been given to Director Health Jammu, whose appointment as Director has been quashed by the court, after its chairman GMC Jammu principal resigned from the post by expressing his ‘inability’ to shoulder the procurement burden.
 Talking to Greater Kashmir principal secretary health R K Jerath said, “We are seized of the matter.” He, however, declined to comment further and dropped the call.
 Head of the department Ophthalmology Dr Manzoor Ahmad Keng said, “Due to lack of Excimer Lazer patients have to go to Delhi, Indore for treatment. Poor people get exploited by private practitioners.”
 Excimer Laser being useful for younger people he said the machine was used in different types of refractive surgeries for minimizing the number of the glasses.
 Talking to Greater Kashmir minister of state for health Javaid Ahmad Dar assured that no injustice would be done with the hospitals of any region of the state. “I will look into it,” he said.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 4 Jan 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 4 Jan 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 5 Jan 2011 00:00:00 IST

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