While pediatric hospital at Bemina here is nearing completion, the state government is yet to sanction the required staff, including doctors and paramedics for making the much-awaited facility functional on time.
After 14 years of wait, the government recently announced the upcoming hospital building at Bemina would be converted into a full-fledged pediatric hospital for Kashmir.
The civil works on the project are targeted for completion by December 2019, while deadline for making the hospital functional is February 2020.
Although the announcement of the full-fledged pediatric facility, the only one in Kashmir having children population of around 30 lakh, was hailed, no additional posts have however been sanctioned for the hospital.
The Bemina hospital will have 300 beds more than the existing GB Pant Children Hospital which has capacity of 200 beds.
A senior pediatrician said in absence of required staff, the healthcare will be a casualty at the new hospital.
“When number of beds increases, and the staff remains the same, it results in over-stretching of human resource and healthcare delivery takes a hit,” he said.
While citing example of Lal Ded Hospital, the doctor said, in absence of allocation of additional staff including doctors, nurses and paramedics, the existing staff at Lal Ded was being forced to take care of 200 additional beds added to the hospital a few years ago. “Is that advancement in healthcare delivery?” he asked.
An official in Health and Medical Education Department said the Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar has long back submitted a proposal for additional doctors, including faculty for the new hospital.
In addition, the College had also submitted proposal for paramedic, technician, nursing staff, administrative and ministerial staff to the department.
“But we are yet to get clearance from the government. Once we have concurrence on additional financial implication of the project by the department (finance) and Council (State Administrative Council), then only can these posts be made available for recruitment,” he said.
Principal GMC Prof Kaiser Ahmed said the upcoming hospital will be on “fast track” basis. “The government has asked us to submit a fresh proposal in view of this massive increase in pediatric bed capacity,” he said adding they have kept the proposal ready.
Prof Ahmad asserted that hundreds of posts of doctors, paramedics, nurses and other staff will be advertised and filled soon.
He added the government had already approved the committee that will monitor the project implementation and its timely completion. “A meeting of the committee will be held on the upcoming hospital in a few days,” he said.