The Central Coordination Committee of the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir has sought attention of the government towards the non-availability of specialists and disorganised patient transport system, worsening the survival chances of the victims.
The committee was constituted last month to work out and implement a plan for improving the emergency healthcare delivery across hospitals in peripheral set up.
The committee, in a presentation made to the Director of Health Services sought ‘urgent attention’ towards four ‘loopholes’ in the system including the unavailability of specialists in Emergency Rooms (ER).
“The patients with severe trauma or illness are often brought to the ER in the peripheral hospitals (SDHs, CHCs and PHCs) only to find that the specialists needed to treat them are unavailable,” pointed the presentation, a copy of which is available with Greater Kashmir.
It revealed that “the transport of patients to available emergency care facilities is often fragmented and disorganised”, defeating the very purpose of fast and safe referrals.
The committee acknowledged that the system was not equipped to handle large-scale emergencies such as those that may arise after a disaster, natural or manmade.
In addition, it has clearly said that neither the skill sets of the healthcare providers nor the infrastructure was adequate to handle these emergencies.
The committee has hinted that the patients were not given attention that their emergencies warrant due to the disproportionate healthcare provider and patient ratio.
“Emergency Rooms in our hospitals are frequently overloaded with sick patients needing urgent attention,” it said.
The process of revising the Standard Operating Procedures for emergencies in peripheral system started after the recommendations of an inquiry committee that had been constituted to probe the allegations of delay and mismanagement at SDH Chrar-e-Sharif resulting in the loss of life of Greater Kashmir senior editor Muddasir Ali.
Ali’s family had said that the doctor on duty failed to give Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), a complaint that the probe committee had acceded to.
As part of the recommendations, the coordination committee had advocated rigorous training of human resource – doctors, nurses and everyone in the health department to carry out CPR.
It urged that this trained manpower needed to be deputed at every health center and hospital in order to save more ‘salvageable lives’.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Director Health Services Kashmir Dr SumirMattoo said, “The process has started and aggressive steps are being taken to identify the weak areas in the system. We are sharing recommendations and requirements with the government.”