Not a single bed added to B&J Hospital in 27 years
Patient Rush Increased Four-Fold During This Period
ARSHAD M BHAT
Srinagar, June 4: Belying the tall claims of the State government about infrastructure up-gradation of city hospitals, the Valley’s sole trauma institute, Bone and Joint Hospital Barzulla is still functioning with 150 beds, sanctioned at the time of its inception 27 years ago.
Official sources in the hospital told Greater Kashmir that the government sanctioned 150 beds in 1985 with an objective to provide quality treatment to patients suffering from orthopedic disorders, which were prevalent in Valley, particularly during the chilling weather conditions. “The bed strength was sufficient in 1985 as the number of patients visiting the hospital Out Patient Department was 32769 and those admitted were 4579. However, after the onset of turmoil in 1989, the number of trauma cases quadrupled and these beds proved inadequate, forcing the administration to treat two patients on a single bed many a times,” sources said, adding that the patients face huge inconvenience due to the paucity of space. The hospital is associated with the Government Medical College Srinagar.
They said that during the peak of militancy when bomb blasts, encounters, cross firings and even torture cases were on the rise, the hospital used to be overwhelmed with patients.
“The patients were first brought to B&J Hospital, which provides Accident and Emergency care, and are then shifted to other GMC associated hospitals or SKIMS, if they needed treatment to other problems,” the sources added.
“Despite having full information about the manifold increase in the number of trauma cases during the militancy and the shortage of beds, the government failed to sanction more beds for the hospital and ignored the issue for unknown reasons, leaving the patients in lurch,” official sources said.
They said that the deficiency was also highlighted by the then Medical Superintendent during the visit of the then Governor in 2008. An official communiqué written by the then Commissioner Secretary Health and Medical Education on the visit of the Governor reads: “Medical Superintendent, Bone and Joint Hospital informed H.E the Governor that the hospital has sanctioned bed strength of 150. However, since 1990, 200 beds are operational, most of which remain occupied. There is a need to regularize the additional beds, which are being operationalized, by increasing the bed strength to 200.”
Sources however maintain that despite highlighting the issue with the Governor and repeatedly with other senior functionaries of the government, the shortage of beds is still the persistent problem in the hospital. “Although the hospital administration added some beds on their own, but the resources and manpower is only for the sanctioned bed strength, thereby defeating the purpose of increasing the number of beds,” sources revealed.
“During road traffic accidents when scores of people are brought to the hospital, the already aggrieved patients have to suffer immensely as two patients are put on the same bed in the Emergency,” sources said, adding that some of them are even treated on trolleys due to the shortage of beds.
“This aggravates their pain and agony and the government is responsible for that,” the officials added.
“The coalition government ministers during their address to public and in official meetings describe health as a priority sector, however the indifference of the authorities towards this issue pooh-pooh the claims,” an official in the hospital told Greater Kashmir on the condition of anonymity.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 4 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 4 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 5 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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