Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) considered to be a gift of Kashmiri political icon Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah to Kashmiri people has been accepted as the ‘hospital of hospitals’ by the residents of Kashmir as they consider it as the first and final destination of recovery.
Its importance is so much paramount that the entire area of Soura is known by its existence. We often respond differently when we hear about a patient shifted to Soura----here Soura means ‘seriousness of patient’ and hence last resort, and ultimate hope.
My stay and experience at the hospital made me to reflect at the existence of the hospital. It is not the name, fame, people’s psyche that makes a hospital really a hospital.
Proper functioning of administration, the humble and responsive interaction between medical-paramedical staff and patients, the proper dispensation of services, the special attention towards attendants who are illiterate----------are the parameters that make a difference.
My mother who was admitted at the hospital often used to say that ‘doctor gasi teth paeth vechun ki temsend vechne sitt gasi bemar neseb balun’….so true.
This type of treatment is as essential for a patient as a doctor’s caliber, experience and the medicine are? As it gives a patient emotional strength, which according to Dr Joseph Murphy’s book ‘The Power of Your Subconscious Mind’ is vital to combat any type of illness or problem. We are all humans and our humane interaction is our first profession.
No doubt SKIMS hospital has a lot of work-load and the administration faces a big challenge on this count. But in this piece of writing, I am going to highlight some of the points that if deliberated upon will ease the sufferings of patients, and attendants as well. These improvements do not need an extra building, extra recruitment, extra budget; but due attention and adjustment.
First, someone attending a patient is just there to cater to his personal needs like helping him/her in washroom, changing cloths, providing meals etc. We can’t expect every attendant to be capable of checking blood glucose level, use oximeter or connect an oxygen cylinder.
Moreover, an attendant remains disturbed. In urgent need, if a doctor connects an oxygen supply to the patient----in no way it is going to lower doctors’ status. A doctor must remember that for a patient doctor stands second to God; and God is most merciful.
A patient who is on artificial oxygen demand, when taken for clinical investigation, should be accompanied by a technician and an extra oxygen cylinder must be there as a back up. Second, a lift should be kept separate for patients who are on oxygen demand.
So that dependence on cylinder oxygen is lowered by quick return to the respective ward. Here, responsibility lies on attendants or those visiting any patient as well, that they spare lifts for patients in need and use alternative instead.
Third, after being discharged from a particular ward/unit if a patient faces the same problem after few days of discharge, he needs to be returned back to the same ward/unit, keeping him there under observation for few hours, so that doctors follow the previous treatment.
Fourth, the procedure for availing the benefits of AB-PMJAY scheme is lengthy and time consuming. Delayed supply of medicines because of lengthy procedure defeats the purpose of the scheme.
Hospital authorities should consult third parties like JK Bank and philanthropic agencies like Azim-Premji Foundation regarding donations for battery vehicles so that attendants get easy and early access to medical shops located outside.
Janib Mohd Wani, Research Scholar at KU
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.