The patient care at Primary Health Centre (PHC) Boniyar in north Kashmir's Uri town has taken a hit as two ambulances of the hospital taken in March this year for COVID-19 duty are yet to be returned to the facility.
A senior official at the center told Greater Kashmir on the condition of anonymity that in early March this year, two ambulances of PHC were attached with the office of CMO Baramulla following the latter's directions. "But till date they have not been sent back," he said.
However, the concerned Block Medical Officer (BMO) has given a number of 'reminders' to the CMO to relieve the vehicles at the earliest but to no avail.
"I want to state that two ambulances, Eco (PHC Barnate) and Sumo (PHC Boniyar) on your verbal directions were sent to your office during Covid-19 on March 20. As your good self is aware that we have a full-fledged Covid-19 dedicated hospital working 24×7 in medical block Boniyar and have 5 ambulances for approximately 80000 population, sometimes we are not able to provide services to the patients due to non-availability of ambulances," reads the letter written by BMO, a copy of which is with Greater Kashmir.
"Therefore I request your good self to kindly relieve both ambulances along with driver Aijaz Ahmad Khan purely in the interest of patient care," it added.
However, the patients visiting the center have been suffering immensely. "We have to arrange the transport on our own to ferry the patients to Srinagar or Baramulla hospitals," said a local, Irfan Ahmad.
BMO Boniyar Dr Parvaiz Masoodi said that he has taken up the matter with the CMO. "We are hopeful to get the ambulances back soon," he said.
CMO Baramulla Deeba Khan said that ambulances were attached on the directions of the Deputy Commissioner for COVID-19 duty. "They will not get these ambulances back. We'll make an alternate arrangement for them," she said.