Healthcare in a shambles| No ECHO facility for patients at GMC Baramulla

As per the patients, the GMC authorities stopped to conduct ECHO from the past several months without citing any reason.
Healthcare in a shambles|
No ECHO facility for patients at GMC Baramulla
Representational PicCreative Commons/ Flickr/ Bryan Howard

Baramulla: Patients across Baramulla district Tuesday expressed anguish over the failure of the Government Medical College (GMC) Baramulla in performing echocardiogram (ECHO) despite the availability of the device at the hospital.

As per the patients, the GMC authorities stopped to conduct ECHO from the past several months without citing any reason. They said that in the absence of such a facility, scores of patients are forced to travel to Srinagar to conduct the test.

“The GMC authorities are expressing helplessness in conducting such a procedure although such procedures were being conducted at GMC Baramulla Associated Hospital few months back,” said Muhammad Ashraf of Baramulla town.

An ECHO is an important device used to evaluate the condition of the heart. It is used to check how the heart chambers and valves are pumping blood through the heart.

The ECHO was few years back started at the hospital after the J&K Bank donated the device to the hospital as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The demand was met by the bank authorities after a series of meetings between the members of the civil society Baramulla with the higher officials of the bank.

“It was after hectic efforts of the civil society members of Baramulla that top officials of the J&K Bank were persuaded to donate this machine to the hospital in the larger interest of the common people. The hospital authorities must ensure that the ECHO is made available to the patients as GMC is the only health institution in the entire north Kashmir where this facility has been made available,” said Shamas Manknoo, a civil society activist in Baramulla.

Principal GMC Baramulla, Rubi Reshi said that due to the non-availability of a cardiologist, ECHO at the hospital had got affected. However, she said that it would be started twice a week soon and a cardiologist would be kept available at the hospital.

“The availability of a cardiologist will ensure the smooth conduct of the ECHO. Till then we will assign the job to a doctor here who has undergone training for carrying such a procedure,” she said.

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