Nearly 10 months after COVID19 stalled all patient services at SKIMS Medical College Hospital (MCH) Bemina, the hospital will now be completely accessible and operational from Friday, much to the relief of thousands of patients here.
The hospital which had been designated as a ‘COVID19 only facility’ from 01 April 2020 has been de-notified by the Government. With the change of label, the hospital will now be able to cater to the patients other than that of COVID19.
Medical Superintendent SKIMS MCH, Dr Shifa Deva said all patient services available at the hospital were being opened in a phased manner. To begin with, she said, all Out Patient Departments will run as usual from 15 January. “Our pediatrics, ophthalmology and dentistry were closed all this while. Patients will be able to avail consultations in these departments from today,” she said.
She said the fumigation, sanitation and repair and maintenance of the hospital had been taken up to make the wards and OPDs. “Many of our hospital areas were closed all these months and we have taken due care for infection control in every area,” she said.
The hospital will allow admission of medical emergencies from today while surgical emergencies will be allowed admission from 19 January.
Dr Deva said operation theatres had been closed and required maintenance. “We are working at that and these would be ready in a couple of days,” she said.
While the 300 bedded hospital was a nodal point for delivery of health services to many districts in north Kashmir, its designation as a COVID19 facility dealt a blow to healthcare delivery. As a result, patient load had increased at many other hospitals. The OPDs had been “partially started in November”, Dr Deva said.
The hospital has cancelled all existing rosters and the entire staff on rolls has been directed to report on duties. Currently, Dr Deva said, the hospital would be running its medicine, surgical, maternal services, orthopedics, psychiatry, pediatrics, ophthalmology, chest medicine clinics and admissions “as was before COVID29 hit Kashmir”.
She said that the staff had been “adequately provided protective gear” and all COVID19 guidelines would be followed to ensure safety of patients and staff.