Srinagar: While the snowfall made it difficult for patients from far-flung areas to reach tertiary care hospitals, the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir on Saturday issued orders to keep the healthcare optimally running in peripheral areas.
In Srinagar, the tertiary care hospitals recorded a slight decrease in the number of patients in OPD and emergencies. At SMHS Hospital Srinagar, the Medical Superintendent Dr Kanwaljeet Singh said there was a 25 per cent reduction in the number of patients. He said that while the hospital functions ran smoothly, it was noticed that patients from far-flung areas were unable to make it to the hospital.
At SKIMS Soura also, the Medical Superintendent Dr Farooq Jan said, a “slight drop” in patients was seen. Other hospitals in Srinagar also reported a patient number lower than the usual, the administrations suspecting difficulty in access brought in by snow-clad roads in many parts of Kashmir.
Meanwhile, the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir issued orders that no leave will be sanctioned to any employee to keep the healthcare delivery smooth in the peripheries amidst the resurgence of COVID19 and inclement weather.
“In order to meet any emergency which may arise due to heavy snowfall and resurgence of COVID19 Pandemic in Kashmir,” the administrators in districts including CMOs and BMOs have been instructed not to issue any leave for non-gazetted employees or forward leaves of gazette employees. The decision has been taken “so that the healthcare facilities do not suffer in the hospitals”.
The BMOs have also been instructed not to leave their stations till the inclement weather period is over. The Directorate has issued instructions that uninterrupted and optimum patient care must be available in all hospitals and therefore the current staff strength could not be curtailed.
With heavy snow accumulated in many parts of Kashmir, reports of patients facing difficulty in moving to and from hospitals poured in on Saturday.
The Health and Medical Education Department has instructed people to access ambulance services through 102 and 108 helpline numbers, the former for transportation of pregnant women.