Srinagar: Inordinate delay in commissioning of the new Children Hospital can be detrimental for children in case they are affected by possible Third Wave of COVID19, experts said.
The availability of the 500-bedded Children Hospital at Bemina, medical experts feel, could help in saving lives in case Third Wave hits. However, almost a decade on, the mega project is yet to be commissioned.
A senior health official said that although it has been nearly six years since J&K Government announced that the Hospital building would be entirely utilised as Super Speciality Children Hospital, on ground, not a single person has been recruited for it. He said that 380 posts were created last year for the Hospital but the posts have not even been referred to the recruiting agencies.
As per this official, without manpower, pediatric healthcare is bound to suffer a jolt as the existing doctors, nurses, paramedics, technical support and other categories of human resources would be spread to a bed number which is shuttle eye current one at GB Pant Hospital.
The official said that the civil works, mechanical and electrical included, have been completed to a large extent at the site and the Government was planning to shift the Pediatrics Hospital to the location soon. "The machines and equipment have also been procured and have already arrived. However, the hospital would need people to run these machines," he said.
On the other hand, the Third Wave of COVID19, which is feared to infect children, many of whom would need hospital admission is projected to be 3 to 6 months away as per expert committee on its mitigation. The committee, headed by Dr MS Khuroo has urged strengthening of healthcare facilities.
DrMuzaffar Jan, head department of Pediatrics at GMC Srinagar in an interview with Greater Kashmir recently had said that Government was unscaling the infrastructure for pediatrics healthcare at all levels and trust the 500 needed COVID Hospital at Khanmoh would have dedicated beds for children, including in ICU. However, this major health project at Bemina is yet to see expedited pace in completion.
Additional Chief Secretary J&K Government AtalDulloo said his department had completed 'everything' the hospital required to function. "There is one approval that is required to fully dedicate it as a pediatric facility," he said. He said the pediatric hospital was slated to be shifted “very soon”. “We are also in the process of ensuring manpower,” he said.