Chest Diseases Hospital gasps for breath

Srinagar, Nov 9: Signifying messy state-of-the-affairs in healthcare system, the lone chest specialty hospital in Kashmir –the Chest Diseases Hospital –sans basic diagnostic and life saving equipm...

Srinagar, Nov 9: Signifying messy state-of-the-affairs in healthcare system, the lone chest specialty hospital in Kashmir –the Chest Diseases Hospital –sans basic diagnostic and life saving equipments –putting lives of patients at risk.
 Situated on foothills of Koh-e-Sulaiman at Drugjan Dalgate, the CD hospital was established by Missionaries over a century ago primarily for treatment of Tuberculosis and other chest diseases. Locals said the hospital under Missionaries was so popular that it received a huge rush of patients from other states  as well. However for the past two decades, the functioning of this Government Medical College (GMC) associated hospital has been drastically affected.

 Sources said the hospital's Intensive Care Unit (ICU) was inaugurated by the Minister of Medical Education RS Chib nearly two years ago.
 "However the ICU is locked since its inauguration and we have to rush critical patients to other hospitals. There is less chance of survival of such patients as the CD hospital sans critical care ambulance to safely shift them to other hospitals," sources said.

 They said the state-of-the-art monitors and non-invasive ventilators meant for the ICU are gathering dust in the hospital. "The hospital management has issued instructions not to admit any patient after 4 PM. This hospital has been turned into a mere day care dispensary. The hospital has just four faculty members.
 "However the patients have been left on the mercy of B-grade specialists who ironically have no expertise to treat chest ailments and have been given independent charge of the wards. Some patients are discharged from the wards without being seen by the faculty members even once," they said.

 Since January this year the lone operation theatre in the hospital has been closed and patients are forced to undergo emergency surgeries at SMHS. "Even for minor procedures, the patients have to be referred to SMHS. The CD hospital has a post of CVTS surgeon which is lying vacant for past many years," sources said.

 The hospital also lacks primary and vital diagnostic equipments including Brochoscope, Thoracoscope and CT Scan. Sources said the USG machine which was procured two years ago is gathering dust in the hospital store. "The Automatic Blood Gas Analyser in the hospital is defunct most of the times for want of the reagents used in it. The hematological analyser in the hospital is also defunct. The automatic analyzer which has been recently procured has not been put to use by the authorities for some unknown reasons," sources said. 

 Some medicos at the hospital said in comparison the GMC Jammu's Chest Diseases department has all these equipment and state-of-the-art diagnostic facilities.
  "This is sheer discrimination with patients in Kashmir. Besides the lack of diagnostic and therapeutic facilities, the CD hospital even sans the very basic things necessary for managing patients with various respiratory diseases. Blood Pressure measuring instruments, nebulisers, thermometers, antiseptic solutions, slides, investigation forms are not available here. Even the resuscitation kits are not available in the ward which is like playing with lives of the patients admitted in the hospital," a group of doctors wishing anonymity said.
 "It is disgusting to work in such a setup where you hardly have anything that can help you in making a proper diagnosis. Either the CD hospital should be provided basic facilities or closed if the Government is not serious to run it," they said.

 The hospital has a capacity of 300 beds however only 180 are operational. Unlike other hospitals in the City, the hospital does not have even a single security guard causing immense problems to doctors. "During evening and nights hours some drunkards and drug-addicts roam in the hospital. We cannot concentrate on patient care as drunkards even enter the wards. The medicos particularly on night duty face difficulties to work in this hostile atmosphere," aggrieved medicos said. 
 Elaborating they said on Friday drunkards tried to barge into the room of a female house surgeon. "Shattered by the incident she has resigned from the post. In absence of any security staff in the hospital the medicos feel threatened," they added. 
 When contact the Medical Superintendent of CD hospital Dr Mirza said he is on leave and can't comment on the issue. It has been leant that in Dr Mirza's absence the hospital continues to be headless as nobody has been given the charge of the Medical Superintendent affecting its functioning.  
 The Principal Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar Dr Rafiq Ahmed Pampori acknowledged the problems confronting CD hospital. "I have assessed the issues confronting smooth functioning of the hospital. All the requisite diagnostic machines in the hospital would be installed shortly. We are committed to provide all facilities on priority to this hospital," Dr Pampori told Greater Kashmir.

* ICU inaugurated 2-years back only to be instantly locked
* Ventilators for the ICU gathering dust in the hospital
* Since January 2012, the Operation Theatre is closed and patients are forced to undergo emergency surgeries at SMHS
* No critical care ambulance to safely shift patients to other hospitals
* Diagnostic equipments including Brochoscope, Thoracoscope and CT Scan procured two years ago gathering dust in the hospital store
(Input sources)

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