Kashmir Nursing Home underutilized
If Used Properly, Will Ease Pressure On SMHS, SKIMS
ARSHAD M BHAT
Srinagar, May 23: Government’s failure to utilize the services of doctors, paramedics and fully functional laboratories of Kashmir Nursing Home at Gupkar Sonawar here for providing medicare and diagnostic facilities to patients has drawn flak from various quarters.
The health centre, established before partition by Maharaja Hari Singh for treating his senior employees and influential persons, is presently lying defunct. “The hospital, currently run by Health Department has staff strength of 40 employees comprising more than four doctors, 15 paramedics and other allied staff who sit idle during the day as patients seldom visit it,” sources said adding that with patient rush in other city hospitals rising every day, the hospital if projected, would have eased out the workload on doctors serving in other health centres.
They said the hospital had a wonderful building located at a prime location which could be utilized for treating hundreds of patients. “The hospital has an operation theatre, labour room, X-ray, USG machine and a full fledged laboratory,” sources said adding it also had many separate rooms wherein patients could be provided treatment easily.
They said the hospital would have been beneficial for patients of city and those coming from other areas who face immense difficulties while receiving consultation dates at SMHS Hospital and Lal Ded Hospital. “The hospital has all the facilities and doctors, and if upgraded further, can provide quality treatment to the patients,” sources said adding the Government was however indifferent towards the issue.
Regarding the hospital history, Sher-e-Kashmir National Medical Institute Trust vice-chairman, Dr Muhammad Ali Mattoo said, “During Maharaja’s time, the two storey, eight room building of the Nursing Home had an operation theatre, labour room and suites. After partition and the establishment of Government Medical College here, the nursing home was transferred to it. The GMC medicos including Dr Ghulam Rasool and Dr Girdhari Lal used to do private practice in the hospital and used to cater to the upper class patients. On Sheikh Abdullah’s birthday in early 1970s, his well wishers and some influential persons collected money and presented that to him in a wallet. On that day, Sheikh Abdullah announced to build a hospital and also formed Sher-e-Kashmir National Medical Institute Trust with which many rich, influential people and doctors including Dr Ali Jan were associated. The Trust, of which Sheikh Abdullah was chairman, constructed the SKIMS hospital which was later transformed into the SKIMS maternity centre. After the establishment of SKIMS, Soura, the SKIMS hospital was transferred to it while the Government transferred the Kashmir Nursing Home to the SKNMIT,” Dr Mattoo said.
He said the nursing home, which had 12 beds, was operated by the Trust and provided services to the moneyed people.
“After Dr Farooq Abdullah’s and his wife Mollie returned from England in 1976, Dr Farooq became Director of the nursing home while Mollie started working as matron. After becoming chief minister of J&K, Dr Farooq left the nursing home, but Mollie continued to work till 1989,” he said.
According to Dr Mattoo, the renovation work on the nursing home was started in 1988, but due to onset of turmoil, the New Delhi based contractor fled away leaving the work half way. “In 1996, Dr Farooq returned to power and in 1997 he reconstituted the Trust, making me VC,” Dr Mattoo said.
He said the building was renovated and 40 patient rooms, two OTs, a labour room, X-ray laboratory and USG room was established. He said the newly renovated building was to be inaugurated on July 13, 2003. “However, the then Government sealed off the nursing home during the July 12 night,” he said adding the Government transferred the health centre to Health Department.
“We filed a case in High Court which upheld the Government order. The case is now lying in Supreme Court,” he added.
When contacted, Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman said, “The nursing home was hosting doctors working outside State who used to come and do private practice. But now, the department is providing super-specialty consultation to the people of Valley in the nursing home free of cost.”
“We have deputed onco-surgeon, orthscopic surgeon, paediatric surgeon, plastic surgeon and nephrologists who will provide consultation to the patients,” he said, adding the move was aimed to build a parallel system outside GMC and SKIMS. He asked the patients to visit the nursing home and avail the service.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 23 May 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 23 May 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 24 May 2011 00:00:00 IST
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