District hospitals refuse to admit COVID19 patients

Representational Pic

Hospitals in south Kashmir are reportedly refusing to admit the Covid19 patients, overburdening the hospitals in Srinagar which are already struggling to find the space for severely sick patients.

Chest Disease hospital, SMHS and SKIMS are flooded with patients suffering from bi-lateral pneumonia and with the second wave of Covid-19 already in, the admissions have almost tripled.

“The beds are occupied here but in spite of that we get patients needing only oxygen support from several district hospitals,” a medic at SMHS told the Greater Kashmir.

He said that this takes away the focus from severely sick patients who need very high oxygen flow or invasive ventilator support.

“The district hospitals should only send the patients who can’t be managed there, but what we are witnessing is they aren’t admitting Covid-19 infected at all,” the doctor said.

He said the second wave of Covid-19 is yet to peak but the doctors in tertiary hospitals are already struggling to keep patients breathing in absence of oxygen supplying beds.

Another medic said that the Pulwama district hospital is refusing to admit Covid-19 patients needing oxygen support.

“When the pandemic broke the hospital would admit some patients needing oxygen support, even as the plant there has inadequate oxygen points. However, now they are directly referring such patients to Srinagar hospitals,” he said.

District Health Officer (DHO) Pulwama, Dr Jawahara, admitted they were not taking Covid-19 patients.

However, she gave a bizarre reply when asked about the reason.

“The hospital was designated as Covid-19 facility last year. This year it is not designated as such,” she said.

A health official said the district hospital in Shopian also refers the patients needing oxygen support either to Srinagar hospitals or GMC Anantnag.

“We are getting patients from Shopian and other districts who could have been managed there. Most of them only need low-flow oxygen support. This overburdens us un-necessarily,” Medical Superintendent GMC Anantnag said.

He said the hospital has 24 beds in an isolation facility of which 15 are occupied.

“Most of them are suffering from bilateral pneumonia and are on high flow oxygen support,” the MS said.

He said they have only six beds functional in the ICU with non-invasive ventilator support facility.

Medical Superintendent (MS) district hospital Shopian, Dr. Muhammad Ismail, acknowledged that the hospital does not admit Covid-19 patients.

“We have some six oxygen concentrators at disposal but don’t have a high flow oxygen facility,” the MS said.

Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Rather, however, said he has passed directions to all hospitals to keep all the facilities available for Covid-19 patients.

“I will ensure the directions are strictly adhered to,” Dr Rather said.