Non-COVID patients continue to suffer in north Kashmir

Last week, a woman from Awoora village of Kupwara was rushed to Sub-District Hospital after she had consumed some poisonous substance.

The hospital has been designated as COVID19 facility. “Nobody came forward to admit the patient,” said a relative of the woman.

In panic and fearing for the patient’s life, the family members rushed her to different health facilities, only to return disappointed.

“We lost more than one hour in shifting her from one hospital to another as the authorities refused to admit her. This delay proved fatal for her. She died in the lap of her mother,” said a relative, Javed Ahmad. “Had she been provided medical help at Kupwara hospital, she might have been alive today.”

While the focus of health authorities in Kashmir, like elsewhere, is on managing COVID19 cases, the non-COVID patients continue to suffer.

In another incident, a woman from Nowshehra area of Baramulla was shifted to Government Medical College Baramulla, few days ago after she complained of chest pain and dizziness.

The doctors at the GMC asked for her COVID negative certificate, before admitting her. But when the patient’s attendants informed the doctors she has not been tested for COVID19, the doctor refused to attend to her. Instead she was shifted to a Srinagar hospital.

The patient died on way to Srinagar, said her family.

The expecting mothers have been the worst sufferers as doctors. In one such case, a woman from Bandipora district delivered a baby in the compound of the Sub-District Hospital Sumbal on last Tuesday after doctors refused to attend to her.

The authorities move to designate specific hospitals across north Kashmir as COVID19 facilities has multiplied woes of non-COVID patients.

A doctor said since non-COVID patients, including the critical patients have no access to many hospitals, they suffer silently. The non-COVID patients at Sub-District Hospital Sopore are asked to visit Mother and Child Care Hospital, which is not equipped to deal with the emergency cases.

“Hundreds of patients from far flung areas like Keran, Karnah, Machil and other villages are suffering as as doctors show least urgency to treat the non-COVID patient,” said Muhammad Ismail of Chowkibal village of Kupwara.