GMC Associated Hospitals in shambles




Srinagar, Dec 9: Contrary to claims of Jammu and Kashmir government that all is well in health sector, the condition of Associated Hospitals of Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar is pathetic and only immediate intervention could save this lifeline of Valley’s healthcare from turning into lifeless institutions.
 Catering to heavy patient rush of more than 17 lakh in 2011-2012 and more than nine lakh till date, the seven GMC Srinagar Associated Hospitals are craving for funding that would suffice their requirements in saving lives of lakhs of patients.
 Surprisingly, the budget earmarked for four GMC Jammu associated hospitals is same when it caters to half the patient load as compared to GMC hospitals Srinagar.
 The condition of these hospitals after investigation by the Greater Kashmir throws light on how indifferent government has been in addressing the immediate issues concerning people.
 The oldest hospital in Kashmir has a centralized oxygen supply plant running for 13 years and now it is almost on verge of collapsing which would endanger lives of patients there.
 Sources said that plant fails to generate the required pressure for supply of oxygen to the critical units.
 There are two CT scans but only one is functional. “One of the important components in hospital that is surgical ICU is three bed unit which fails to provide care to soaring surgical patients,” sources said.
 There are three machines for dialysis instead of six which are required with no specialists to man them.
 After assessment by Greater Kashmir, it has been found that its blood bank has obsolete technology and needs upgradation as does the pathology section. The hospital has ventilators but run without maintenance.
 “There is need to increase budget for equipment and maintenance. There is hardly any budget for medicines and material supplies,” sources said.
 Coming to the psychiatric ward, which was set up with much fanfare, as per the GK investigation, there are no patients in the ward and officially the admission to this ward stands closed.
 “Parents don’t want to send their wards to this centre because of security reason, lack of heating arrangements and official apathy,” said a doctor on condition of anonymity, adding it has 40-bed capacity and hospital administration can’t maintain it
 Going by the common parlance inside hospital, SMHS is still running on the same pattern which it was as in 1942.

 In the largest and the only trauma hospital, there is no MRI and CT scan machines.
 One of the biggest issues in this hospital is that there is no digital X-Ray.
 As per doctors, who work relentlessly here, the patient with skull injury has to be ferried in an ambulance to and fro that causes severe problems to the injured part to SMHS for digital X-ray.
 Official records reveal that not a single bed has been added in 30 years with population growing manifold.
 Surprisingly there is no oxygen plant and no incinerator and no microbiology lab. Besides, the newly constructed operation theatre has no oxygen supply plant. There is post of Radiologist but he shifts to SMHS from where he draws his salary.
 There is urgent need of establishing three posts of radiologists. As far as expansion plan of this hospital is concerned, the hospital administration acquired about 14 Kanals of land near Barzulla where now LPG gas is distributed.
 In this regard, sources said the hospital spent Rs 25 lakh on boundary wall way back but failed to acquire it due to court stay.
 The state government has already paid Rs six crore to the owner of the land as per the cabinet order.

 The hospital has the oldest building located on a hillock. Patients have to climb stairs and slopes to visit a doctor. Patients suffering from chest diseases and breathing problem find it difficult to climb the hillock as it aggravates their suffering. Shortage of wheelchairs adds to their woes.
 Due to low capacity genset, doctors have to attend to patients with candles held by attendants. Besides, electricity, there is no heating system in place.
 The issue of security is crucial as doctors feel vulnerable during night duties.
 According to the doctors, recently a female medico on night duty had to call her parents after some unidentified person unnecessarily knocked at the door of her room.
 The absence of CT scan and MRI forces patients to visit private clinics. This hospital has state-of-the art ICU but lies defunct due to shortage of staff. “There is no cardiac thoracic surgeon in this hospital where a theatre for him/her exists,” said a specialist.

 Valley’s lone maternity hospital with 700 beds function to a capacity doubles its strength. However, there is acute shortage of assistant surgeons, nurses and sanitation staff.
 This hub of gynecology cases has no ICU and no critical care ambulance.
 “We handle more than 150 cases in 24 hours but there is no ICU and not to talk of CT Scan and MRI. We refer neonates to GB Pant Hospital in case we require such scans,” said a doctor.
 Importantly, its oxygen plant needs urgent upgradation. The radiology equipment is in pathetic condition.
 As per the officials, its blood bank needs upgradation as they are flooded with cases. There is dearth of staff in Neonatology which in this case should be a separate wing.
 Here, Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), a safe motherhood intervention under NRHM is being implemented but not commenced yet.
 The new wing of the hospital is ready but there is no Sewage Treatment Plant and the bottleneck in this regard is an old building where senior nurses reside.
 They have got stay on the demolition that would pave the way for setting up of STP. This as per estimates, would result in delay of a year in inauguration of the new wing.

The oxygen plant at Lal Ded Hospital restarted Sunday after it developed technical snag on Friday putting the critical patients at risk.

 After remaining in the spotlight in the wake of more than 3000 deaths, this hospital is struggling to come out of dual control.
 The civilian administration and Cantonment Board are running this hospital jointly.
 This dual control was abolished after chief minister Omar Abdullah and Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad intervened following deaths of thousands of neonates over the years.
 As per the report of Assembly Panel, this dual control by Cantonment Board and JK Government should be abrogated as it has led to malpractices in the hospital.
 The dual control, it said ‘is the root cause of its abysmal functioning and services’.
 Meanwhile, sources told Greater Kashmir that Cantonment Board is eager to regain the lost control. “This would reverse all those changes which have led to substantial dip in neonate death rate in the hospital,” said doctors working in the hospital.
 Besides dual control, Valley’s lone children’s hospital has no critical care ambulance.
 The microbiology lab is ready but the hospital needs more funds to make it functional.
 This hospital too has no CT Scan and MRI machines.
 Previously the hospital faced shortage of ventilators which, as per official records has been improved with current number at 13. But it needs more ventilators to cater to huge rush of patients.
 “The exercise is futile in absence of bio-medical engineer and maintenance budget that would help in maintaining these ventilators,” sources said.
 Also the faculty strength does not match the requirements and there is shortage of nurses.

 This hospital is the lone health institution catering to the psychiatric patients of the Valley.
 The 150-bed hospital provides indoor care to all patients requiring the same. However, this hospital faces shortage of medicine.
 Sources disclosed that Government of India had sanctioned Rs 30 crore to state government to establish Mental Health Hospital under National Mental Health Programme. “But nothing has been done in this regard till date and there is every chance that the funds would lapse and the state would lose a chance to establish a psychiatric hospital,” sources said.

 This mobile hospital was established with an aim to provide healthcare in the far-flung areas of Kashmir region but it has failed to organize medical camps. Over the years, this hospital has been defunct.
 Due to dearth of funds, the hospital staff has been attached with other hospitals. And in winter it remains non-functional.

 After detailed investigation, Greater Kashmir found that all GMC Associated Hospitals are having massive security problems as SPOs lack training to handle attendants.
 There is no in house quality monitoring system in place with no bio medical waste management in these hospitals.
 There is only one critical ambulance in seven hospitals with other ambulances acting as mere carriers.
 One MRI and 2 CT scans for seven hospitals.
 The condition of oxygen plants is pathetic while some hospitals don’t have it.

* Oxygen plant fails to generate required pressure in SMHS
* B&J hospital sans digital X-Ray, MRI, CT scan machines
* Doctors attend patients in candle light in CD hospital
* LD hospital has no ICU, critical
care ambulance
* Cantonment Board eager to regain lost control of G B Pant hospital
* Psychiatric hospital faces medicine shortage
* Chittaranjan mobile hospital defunct

Lastupdate on : Sun, 9 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 9 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 10 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST

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