Destination G B Pant
No doctor bashing, have well-equipped hospitals in districts and see the difference
COMMENT BY HASSAN ZAINAGAIRI
After outsmarting Bihar in corruption, our state has achieved one more milestone. We have carved our name in the Guiness Book of world Records. Perhaps that ‘world record’ would remain etched with us permanently. It won’t be “blasted” away by any other people. Such is the “charismatic feat” that perhaps we alone can have the monopoly of it. 895 children, it now turns, have died at G B Pant Hospital Srinagar last year. That reflects how much “cool” and “calm” the year has been. Since January this year up to now 366 children were robed off the wombs of their loving mothers. That means nearly 90 children a month. Last year mortality rate puts it 75 per month. Pharaoh should have opened a G.B Pant like structure (naming it hospital is defaming the purity of word which cradles life and blossoms hope, out of despair and fends attacks of death). Perhaps he would not have got fixated with that external ignominy of committing a genocide of Jews. Just emulated us and seen how demographic engineering has delivered. Even without a feeble cry in protest.
Our canines must be lucky. Compared to (in) human pounds. The dog pounds are maintained more keenly and sophisticatedly. Their hygiene and health-care is far-more taken care of than inmates in our wards. Perhaps because Monekas like “Third Eye” is watching them that is making them so animal-loving and accountable.
One wonders had the shameful incident not surfaced through media, how many more infants would have died that callously. And as it shows, it is only after a sustained media reporting the government and the administration have awakened from the deep slumber. The rolling of heads has begun to convey the impression they take it seriously. But as usual in this fire-brigade approach the real culprits with their influential tentacles struck deep in power-houses, like big sharks, will emerge as more fattened and unassailable, while the small fries would invite all condemnation and punishment. The fate of number of scandals involving ministers, bureaucrats, police officials and business tycoons is a clear manifestation of this rot. Only a couple of months before an exam-gate featured a minister to force his department to help his son do a Muna Bhai heroics. The minister’s conduct not only ridiculed the refrain of public accountability but even it dared Chief Minister to unseat him of his cabinet berth, whereas the little minnows of his department had to go to jails for asking some ‘objectionable’ question and drawing a caricature of a police cop.
True the doctors’ negligence can be a part of the tragedy that has unfolded at G B Pant but entire muck cannot be placed at their doors. As a survey conducted by Census Department reveals new borns (neonates) in J&K are more vulnerable to death in comparison to any other state in India: ‘J&K has infant mortality rate of 43 per 1000 children and out of these deaths at least 37 are recorded before a baby attains age of one month. This phenomenon is acute in rural areas where the death rate recorded is 40. In urban J&K the figures are 25. At national level the neonatal mortality rate is 34’. This indicates poor child heath care system in our state. It also reflects that the defective system more than the doctors negligence is responsible for creating the mess.
We must avoid defaming the doctors and place the things in their right perspective before we jump to the conclusion. It is not to absolve those doctors found guilty of willful negligence. They should be dealt sternly but building and reinforcing the stereotype of a callous doctor around his profession would only shatter public confidence and bring no good to the society. Never forget this community served our society even at the cost of their lives in the most difficult conditions amid the boom of the guns.
As rightly pointed out by Doctors Association Kashmir the favoritism, nepotism and adhocism in the health department has plagued the whole health care system. Some junior persons have been given top jobs superseding many senior deserving and meritorious officers. The Reserved Categories too have played their part in spoiling the system.
The fact of the matter is that G B Pant is the only tertiary care hospital for children in the valley with 1270 beds sanctioned capacity. Imagine the nightmare when at a given time near about 4000 patients are cramped in the same place. With only six ventilators all other intensive-care-demanding neonates have to die in any case. The hospital is understaffed, under-equipped and poorly managed. In fact this disease has affected all hospitals in our valley. The need of the hour is to overhaul the system and make service delivery discipline more affective not only in G B Pant but also in SMHS, Lal Ded and District and Sub-district hospitals.
CM Omar Abdullah’s decision to construct a new pediatric hospital near SMHS defies logic. This will worsen the plight of SMHS which itself needs expansion and is already facing problem of accommodation. What government should do is to construct a joint campus for maternal and child health system somewhere in the outskirts. Separating the two kills the spirit behind building a hospital for neonates. In addition such hospitals must be constructed in every district to avoid mad rush to Srinagar.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 24 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 24 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 25 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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