In 2015, after years of wait, the authorities installed an oxygen plant at district hospital (DH) Kulgam with the promise to bring an end to referral of patients with pulmonary ailments to Srinagar.
More than five years later, the facility is yet to be made operations, highlighting the negligence of the hospital authorities.
This negligence has come to the fore at a time when the doctors have been insisting that different facilities including ventilators and oxygen plants were crucial in the fight against the coronavirus infection.
A senior doctor said the plant was tested for trial some three years ago. “As the plant remains non-functional, the hospital administration is unable to shift the medical wards, surgical wards, causality and other wards to the new building inaugurated a decade ago,” the doctor said.
He said the respiratory ailment and pneumonic patients were at times being managed by oxygen concentrators, but preferably referred to Anantnag or Srinagar hospitals.
Medical Superintendent, Dr Muzafar Ahmad confirmed the plant was lying defunct. He said the facility would be made functional soon.
Another doctor said the hospital has not hired the trained manpower to run the plant.
Other hospitals across south Kashmir depict a similar tale. The district hospital at Shopian is without any oxygen plant while in nearby Pulwama, the plant which was made operational last year, has inadequate oxygen points connected to the wards.
Similarly, in the 250-bedded Anantnag hospital, doctors said, only 82 beds have the oxygen supplying points.