Srinagar, Nov 12: Patients admitted in the hospitals of Kashmir spend shivering nights in absence of heating arrangements while the hospital authorities await 15 November to turn on the air conditioning, the date set by J&K Government as the beginning of winters.
The month of November saw Kashmir’s most districts witnessing a sharp decrease in night temperatures. While the extreme cold has most people uncomfortable, the situation gets worse in hospitals, especially for patients admitted. In SMHS Hospital, Bone and Joint Hospital, Lal Ded Hospital, GB Pant Hospital, SKIMS Soura and most other hospitals, the central heating system is yet to be started. Hospital administrators Greater Kashmir spoke to said the heating systems in hospitals are started on 15 November as per the directions of the Government. “It is an order, we can do very little about it,” a senior administrator said.
Many attendants of the patients have been complaining that the cold has made the recovery of their patients slower and in some cases worsened the condition of patients. Manzoor Hakak, whose father, a 77 year old patient is admitted at SMHS Hospital said the elderly man has not slept through the four nights since he was brought to hospital. “He had fever and chills and no matter how many blankets we wrap him into, he still shivers through the night,” he said. The distraught son said the family arranges hot water bottles from the canteen to keep the patient warm. “However, him being diabetic, we are worried that he might develop a blister that would start another round of problems for him,” Hakak said.
Medical Superintendent SMHS Hospital Dr Kanwaljeet Singh said the hospital started the trial run of the heating system on 12 November and the trial would continue for three days. “The systems would run full-fledged November 15 onwards,” Dr Singh. He said the trial run would bring up the temperature of the hospital premises to some degrees and patients will have reprieve from cold.
Medical Superintendent SKIMS Soura, Dr Farooq Jan said the hospital has started heating in critical areas such Operation Theatres and ICUs from November 1. “From November 11, we started heating the wards also. But we will start heating systems on Monday in all hospital areas,” he said.
At Lal Ded Hospital, the Medical Superintendent, Dr Shabir Ahmed said, the Split Air-Conditioners were on in a part of the Labour Room, in Neonatal ICU and in OTs. He said the hospital had also insulated the windows and entries with plastic sheets. “We are trying to get the hospital areas into a comfortable temperature range with the means that we have currently,” he said.