Government Medical College (GMC) Anantnag has got approval from for setting-up outdoor Addiction Treatment Facility (ATF).
The initiative coordinated by National Drug Dependence Treatment Center, Department of Psychiatry, AIIMS will be funded by Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
“I am pleased to inform you that based on the evaluation of feasibility assessment format submitted by your institution on 10/07/2020 and the subsequent interactions with the nodal officer, the establishment of ATF at GMC Anantnag has been approved by the competent authority,” reads the approval letter from AIIMS to Principal GMC Anantnag, Dr Showkat Jeelani.
The letter has been issued by Dr Atul Ambedkar, chief of NDDTC Department of Psychiatry AIIMS and in-charge ATF. Dr Mansoor Ahmad Dar, Assistant Professor and head psychiatry GMC Anantnag will be the nodal officer of the initiative.
The Principal GMC has been asked to pass on the directions to hospital administration and nodal officer to plan the process of refurbishment/ renovation of the identified space for the ATF to make it suitable for operation.
The hospital authorities have also been asked to initiate the process of recruitment of staff according to the qualification norms mentioned in the scheme document.
A doctor said the move would benefit the patients from south Kashmir who otherwise had to rely on drug de-addiction and rehabilitation center at IMHANS, SMHS, Srinagar.
Dr Mansoor said though the department does run an OPD for substance abuse patients, considering the enormity of substance abuse in south Kashmir, ATF was the need of the hour.
“This will exclusively be a separate OPD for such patients and if all goes well, we can then take up IPD facility also,” he said.
Dr Mansoor said they will be getting separate manpower for the facility that will include a psychiatrist, psychologist, and staff nurses. The patients in the facility will be provided medicines free of cost.
He said AIIMS will be imparting guidance to run the facility. The Principal GMC, Dr Jeelani termed the approval for setting up the facility a major initiative towards curbing the growing drug menace.
“Though the process involves a multi-pronged approach establishing the facility will help a lot,” he said.
Dr Jeelani said the hospital administration along with the health department will play an active role in making the initiative a success.
Medical Superintendent (MS), GMC Anantnag, Dr Muhamad Iqbal said they will start work on identifying the space and establishing the facility henceforth.