Lack of wheelchairs irks patients at SKIMS

According to official data around 3,700 to 3,800 patients visit the hospital’s OPD every day, besides 500 to 600 cases at its emergency department.
File Pic
File Pic

Patients at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science (SKIMS) suffer owing to lesser number of wheelchairs for ferrying them to different facilities at the tertiary care institute.

According to official data around 3,700 to 3,800 patientsvisit the hospital's OPD every day, besides 500 to 600 cases at its emergencydepartment.

However, many patients and their attendants complained aboutinadequate number of wheelchairs especially at the OPD.

"I searched for a wheelchair in entire corridor of the groundfloor but couldn't find a single chair. Left with no option I ferried thepatient on my back to the OPD," said a youth accompanying his father, NisarAhmad from uptown area of Srinagar.

A cardiac patient, Ahmad visit hospital regularly for regularcheck up.  He is often accompanied by hisson and daughter.  "This problem (lack ofwheelchairs) continues," said Hakeem, while sitting on the pavement outside thehospital's OPD section.

Another attendant Bashir Ahmad Wani was accompanying hiselderly mother Malla who is suffering from throat problem.

"I make it sure to reach here before 10 in the morning.Otherwise, you won't find any wheelchairs around. As rush increases wheelchairsdisappear," said Wani from Anantnag'sBijebehara town.

However, the SKIMS Medical Superintendent DrFarooq Jan saidthe hospital has adequate number of trolleys and wheelchairs."The problem isthe deficiency of manpower. The wheelchairs remain available in the emergencythroughout the day," he said.

He said the hospital has 300 to 400 trolleys and around 150wheelchairs.  "We recently received 50fresh trolleys for the emergency," said Dr Jan.

He said once a patient is ferried to OPD or a Ward theattendant rarely brings the wheelchair back to let others use it.

"We have now put twoemployees on the job who get the wheelchairs back from OPD and wards so thatothers can sue them," he said.

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