Unaccountability mars health care in Kashmir
SRINAGAR: In a sorry state of affairs, the frequent negligence of health care in Kashmir hospitals is raising serious question against the functioning of Directorate of Health Service Kashmir.
From north Kashmir to South Kashmir, every other day, non availability of doctors and other staff in the hospitals is rendering people to face the brunt.
However, the directorate has failed to set the things right by making doctors and hospital staff accountable. In the series of recent cases of negligence, the directorate health services or the concern Chief Medical officers (CMO’s), Block medical officers (BMO’s) manages to die down the serious concern of negligence by saying, “We will look in to the mater”.
The action in the case of negligence at Lal Ded Maternity hospital and cases of pediatric negligence at Sub District Hospital (SDH) Sopore was yet to be seen; a new case of poor health care and unaccountability in the system has come forth from Kangan of Ganderbal district. The deaths due to negligence and public uproar have become order in the health care of Kashmir.
Meanwhile a 22 year old Mohammad Rafiq Bhat son of Abdul Rashid Bhat resident of Kachnambal Kangan a mechanic by profession fell unconscious yesterday on 23, August afternoon at his own automobile shop, he was taken to hospital where as per locals the Ambulance driver was not present in the Hospital, to ferry him to SKIMS Soura for special treatment, where the person died. The driver of the hospital ambulance was not on duty and had gone to somewhere without informing anybody, after calling a local from nearby Sumo Stand Kangan, Rafiq was taken to SKIMS Soura.
The people present on spot said that there was only one doctor present in hospital, alleged that the non availability of staff other facilities caused the deaths from time to time in Trauma hospital. The death sparks massive protest outside Kangan hospital. People alleged that the absence of doctors time and again causes incidents in Kangan hospital. The protestors shouting slogans against the hospital authorities, blocked National highway at Main market Kangan, demanding stern action against concerned persons who were not present on their duties at Kangan hospital.
On August 23, in an another incident that happened at the valley’s tertiary care SMHS hospital on late evening at around 10:30 PM, an emergency patient, who was profusely peeing blood was made to wait in the corridor of SHMS for hours together. The patient was referred from Handwara hospital. Reports said that the patient was peeing blood throughout the day.
“In the evening the doctors at Handwara hospital referred him to SMHS,” said his son as quoted by a local daily. There was only one doctor in that emergency room and the patient rush was over his head. See since morning, he was peeing blood, but the doctor was least bothered,” he told a local daily. Later, after some 15 minutes, the doctor called another young doctor, who seemed a trainee, to treat the patient”, it adds.
On August 11, new born baby’s death sparked a protest against authorities in sub-district hospital Sopore. Mehrajudin Dar of Watlab Ghat said his wife delivered a baby at MCH hospital on 10th August. “Doctors told us that the baby is safe but as a precautionary measure we should take the baby to GB Pant Children Hospital Srinagar for check up. In Srinagar doctors told us that the baby has got severe injuries on his head during delivery. After some time the baby died at GB Pant hospital at 7 PM,” Dar told media earlier.
On August, 12, a newborn baby at SDH Sopore was left unattended for four days, resulting in deteriorating health conditions. On June 6, a pregnant woman died after delivery of a child allegedly due to the negligence of doctors at maternity hospital Lal Ded in Srinagar. The deceased woman Shaheena Akhtar (35) a resident of Hamza Colony Bemina was admitted in the hospital after developing labour pain. The patient developed shivering, after doctors administered frozen platelets.
Tariq Iqbal, the husband of the deceased woman claimed that the platelets were administered in absence of any doctor. “The condition of my wife deteriorated while doctors were not present there. After delivery, she started bleeding while doctors at the eleventh hours removed uterus from her body,” he said. The husband of the deceased woman alleged that they wanted to shift Shaheena to SKIMS Soura after blood continued to ooze out from her body, but no ambulance was available in the hospital. “We managed to hire a private ambulance and shifted her to SKIMS where she breathed her last,” he said.
Ironically despite repeated allegations of negligence in these hospitals, no action was taken to hold the medical staff accountable. “In cases of negligence at SDH Sopore, mere an eyewash inquiry was called to calm down the public uproar against the serious negligence where life is involved. There is a clear attempt to shield the negligent doctors, staff by the directorate for the ulterior motives”, said a father of neglected infant.
On the other hand the ambulances in the territory hospitals are as good as truck. It is being observed despite having huge infrastructure; these hospitals have poor transit mechanism, with no trained staff, but only a driver in ambulance.
“The lack of emergency service, staff and transit is killing patients. The field hospitals have become referral point. Trauma means life and death within a minute. It is waste of time. The ambulances have no resistive facility inside. They have doctors and other facility in the hospital, but they still refer a patient as the staff remains unavailable”, said a group of agitated protesters at Kangan Hospital.
Demanding action against the non available doctors and other staff, they said patients often are morbid by the time they reach Srinagar hospitals.
When contacted Minister for Health & Medical Education, Bali Bhagat, Minister of State for Health and Medical Education, Asiea Naqash and Director Health Service, Dr Saleem-Ur-Rehman, to seek their comment over extremely crucial public issue, no one picked up the phone.
Worth to mention, ministers and higher officials of this government remains inaccessible, results in the public grievance remains unaddressed.