There is a ray of hope for women suffering with infertility issues as Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar on Saturday started first state-of-art "assisted reproductive center" at maternity Lal Ded Hospital here.
The facility will prove helpful for women to conceive whoare otherwise bereft with infertility of certain nature, said Prof ShahnazTaing, head department of gynecology and obstetrics at GMC.
She said till date the facility was available only inprivate sector and would cost patients heavily. "Now, with this treatmentavailable in our hospital, we have laid the foundation for a comprehensiveassisted reproductive technology center," she said.
She said Intrauterine Insemination, also called artificialinsemination often requires follow-ups and close and efficient care to makepregnancy a success which was a problem in private sector. "How many follow-upswill a patient go for outside the state or how long can she afford to staythere?" she said.
She said the hospital had procured state-of-art equipmentfor the procedure at the Center.
The center was inaugurated by Financial Commissioner Healthand Medical Education Atal Dulloo who described the facility as a "huge leap"for the government healthcare sector in J&K.
"Infertility treatments must be available to anyonerequiring it, irrespective of their economic status," he said.
He added that an 'advanced fertility center' for GMCSrinagar was in the pipeline. "It might take some time but the idea is to takethe hospital to a level where women can avail advanced treatments, includingthat for infertility," he said.
Principal GMC Srinagar, Prof Kaiser Ahmed said people fromJ&K were spending lot of money on infertility treatments outside the state."Moreover, the expertise that we have here in GMC is unmatched and all thetreatments will be offered at Government rates," he said.
According to doctors at the hospital, infertility was agrowing concern among women in Kashmir and the facilities for its treatmentwere minimal.
Moreover, a senior doctor said, till date, due to the highcost of treatments, help was being sought only by people who could afford it.
"There is a huge disparity between infertility treatmentsdue to the cost involved," said a doctor.
Medical superintendent LD Hospital, Dr Shabir A Siddiquisaid that the infertility clinic would run in hospital OPD six days a week."All heads of the units will be extending the facility," he said.