Health emergency, carelessness and govt’s apathy

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Representational Image File/GK

Patients are at the centre of healthcare systems across the world. They are provided with the possible care and attention even during night time. But patients at different government hospitals in Kashmir are at mercy of interns and junior doctors during the night hours. District and sub- district hospitals become dispensaries after 4pm. There is no response treatment in the hospital in the evening and during night.

Most of the emergency patients who suffer heart attacks, lose the golden hour due to negligence and carelessness of the inexperienced junior doctors and interns. According to valley-based cardiologist, the incidence of heart attacks in the UT has almost doubled in the last five years.

Besides that, patients who have other complications and need immediate attention are referred to tertiary care hospitals from many districts. In that period, many don’t survive, while those who are lucky, get the required treatment.

Despite covering the carelessness and absence of senior doctors at the valley hospitals, health authorities are only doing lip services and all the public grievances and requests have fallen to the deaf ears.    

Recently, a delegation from north Kashmir told Greater Kashmir that a number of the hospitals in north Kashmir do not have experienced doctors at night. They said during evening hours, hospitals wear deserted look and a single doctor, who does not have expertise in handling emergency cases looks after every patient.

Even, a woman from Srinagar complained of a sharp pain in her chest and arms, and her blood pressure had shot up to over 200.This patient had more than 200 systolic blood pressure but still ECG was not recommended at Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial (JLNM) hospital.

Similarly, many people died due to the medical negligence of concerned inexperienced doctors at hospitals, especially during night.  People said that the lack of senior doctors in government hospitals at night is a serious issue that demands immediate attention. They said that government must take swift action to address the shortage of doctors and ensure that patients receive the best possible care, regardless of their location or socio-economic background.

Senior doctors are frequently absent during the night hours in government hospitals. Junior physicians are expected to take up senior doctors' tasks, including giving medical care to patients. Unfortunately, due to a lack of experience and knowledge, the quality of treatment offered by junior doctors can be subpar.

The situation is especially serious at government hospitals in Kashmir, where there is a chronic scarcity of senior physicians. Patients are forced to rely on junior doctors, who may lack the required skills and expertise to deliver effective care.

In the absence of experienced medical personnel, this circumstance can be very perilous for patients, who may be left alone with junior doctors.

Patients at government hospitals have the right to quality care at all times. The scarcity of senior physicians, as well as the lack of experienced staff including senior doctors at valley hospitals, are unacceptable and must be addressed immediately by the government.

As per the official data, hundreds of posts of doctors and paramedics are lying vacant in Jammu and Kashmir, which is affecting the healthcare system.

The government has time and again promised that they will take steps to redress the grievances of people. However, nothing has been done so far. In fact, the government should hire more senior doctors in order to remedy the medical professional shortage.

The delayed treatment during night hours is quite concerning since it jeopardises the quality of healthcare offered to patients. The government must act quickly to alleviate the scarcity of senior physicians and other specialists and provide proper facilities at government hospital. Media and the public should highlight such problems until this issue is remedied and patients receive the finest possible care and attention at all times. 

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.

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