The decision of Jammu and Kashmir government to take over the 500 bedded facility at Khonmoh, and covert it into a fully-fledged first Infectious Diseases Hospital in the Union Territory is a step in right direction.
It is also a strong move towards creating more infrastructure and improving the facilities in health sector.
Much has already been done and much more needs to be done in this direction, health being a very important sector. All sections of people get directly benefited with health related facilities in hospitals.
According to medical experts, a fully fledged Infectious Diseases Hospital is badly needed in Jammu and Kashmir and should have been established much earlier like some other states. However, better late than never. A beginning has been made in this direction and needs to be welcomed.
Taking over of the Khonmoh Hospital by the government will save the state-of-art infrastructure, already created there, from getting wasted. The facility was commendably set-up by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in a rented accommodation (private property) in May last year temporarily for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. Similar hospitals were set up in some other parts of the country also.
Now, there is significant improvement on the pandemic front and DRDO has also pulled out of the COVID hospitals, taking over Khonmoh Hospital is a right move.
The hospital has well equipped intensive care units with hundreds of ventilators, high-flow oxygen on every bed and huge bed capacity. Manpower was last year recruited for the Khonmoh hospital on contract and will be retained to run the services.
However, the medical staff deputed from other departments and hospitals has been repatriated. It is to be seen whether or not the hospital needs to hire some more staff.
Shortage of staff particularly doctors in some of the hospitals leads to serious problems at times particularly in Emergency and Out Patients Departments. Scuffles, or attacks on doctors by attendants of patients are witnessed amid heavy rush of patients.
The authorities need to address this problem in hospitals by judiciously working on doctor-patient ratio.
Health experts hope that setting up of the Infectious Disease Hospital will act as a front line defence mechanism against infectious diseases which have the tendency to spread from person to person. This will also help containing the spread of infectious diseases in a better way.