GMC Anantnag faces space crunch

Greater Kashmir

The Government medical college hospital in Anantnag is facing space crunch even as the authorities have failed to start work on its 150-bedded diagnostic and main causality block approved more than a decade ago.

Way back in 2007, a project to construct three new blocks for the erstwhile Mirza Afzal Beg Memorial Hospital (MAMB) was sanctioned and the JKPCC, the executing agency, set a three-year deadline for its completion.

However, the paucity of funds and sluggish work marred the project even as the hospital was elevated to medical college two years back.

After repeated directives from the government, the JKPCC managed to complete two blocks (B and C) only, which were handed over to the hospital authorities in 2015 and the old hospital was shifted into these blocks, a health official said.

He, however, said, that work on block-A which would add 150-bed capacity to the hospital is yet to commence.

The doctors said that the present 200 bedded new hospital building catering to a huge chunk of the population across south Kashmir has been confronting the problem of over-crowdedness.

“Most of the time we can see two patients sharing a single bed in both wards and causality,” said a medic, adding that at times patients can be seen lying on floor.

“The Intensive Care Unit (ICU), post-operative ward and even administrative ward, all have been crammed in a single block,” a medic said.

He said that the specialist doctors, medical officers, assistant surgeons and now the faculty members of new medical college don’t have a proper place to sit. “At times doctors find it difficult to remain available for patients. Even the laboratories and casualty lack proper space,” said another medic.

He said that both medical and surgical causalities are run from a single room.  “A doctor finds it very difficult to undergo a medical check of a patient as it is completely a mess.”

The medic said the vital blood bank, ophthalmology, CT scan and dental section has all been put in one of the old buildings of the hospital which is devoid of adequate space.

As the Covid-19 patients continue coming to the hospital these days, the situation in the hospital has worsened further. “The medical ward has been converted into COVID facility. Surgery, ENT, orthopaedic, ophthalmology, and now medicine have been crammed in a single IPD ward in the second floor of C block,” said a doctor.

He said with endoscopy, dialysis, and ICU section barely a few meters away, the chances of cross-infection loom large.

“There are not ample beds with oxygen supply facility either and coronavirus patients are the worst hit,” the medic said.

Principal, Government Medical College (GMC), Anantnag Dr Showkat Jeelani admitted the hospital is confronting the problem of space crunch.

“We have been repeatedly writing to JKPCC authorities to sort out the issue with the contractor and take up the construction work of the pending block-A but to no avail,” said he.

JKPCC officials, however, maintain the matter was pending before the court and hence the delay in taking up the work.  “The High Court has stayed the process on a petition by a contractor,” Managing Director JKPCC Ghulam Hussain Dar told Greater Kashmir.

He said the corporation has filed objections in the case last year only, however, in view of pandemic the hearing of the case could not take place since long. “We have now moved an application through additional advocate general requesting for early hearing,” Dar said