KASHMIR NEWS TRUST #KNT
A delegation from different political parties comprising Dr Farooq Abdullah, Dr Mehboob Beigh and Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami who called on the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Friday expressed grave concern over the deteriorating state of affairs of Kashmir health sector. They expressed concern over the recent decision of the government to divest SKIMS of its autonomous status.
The leaders presented a Memorandum to LG which highlighted the shabby part of the Kashmir hospitals.
The Memorandum as per the news agency Kashmir News Trust reads that since the inception of Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Srinagar (SKIMS), the institute continued to add new milestones to its distinguished journey. However, the institute is beset with practical difficulties, which takes a toll on both patient care and it’s overall functioning.
“The recent decision of the government to divest SKIMS of its autonomous status has had an adverse effect on its decision-making process. Presently, the institution is facing a staffing deficit with hundreds of slots at various levels viz, medical, paramedic, and administrative lying vacant. There is a 50 percent of shortage of all technical and nursing staff. The recruitment has not been conducted for the last seven years.”
“As on date, a total number of 1201 of posts of different categories including 115 faculty positions, 149 Gazetted posts, 870 Non-Gazetted and 67 positions of Senior and Junior Residents are vacant.”
“SKIMS has also been facing a distinctive challenge due to inadequate infrastructure and funds. Of 3 CT scan machines, only one is functional while as an old MRI machine has been out of order. There is no Linear Accelerator available with the facility. The equipment is crucial to administer radiations to the cancer patients. The gynae hospital of the institute is facing acute space constraints.”
“The institute has not made any significant advancement in robotic surgery owing to the financial constraints. Of Rs 400 crore annual budget, around 70 percent is spent on the salaries. The SKIMS is also running a paramedical and a nursing college.”
“Besides the SKIMS, the other premier hospitals are facing well-nigh the similar issues. Hundreds of posts are lying vacant in SMHS, Srinagar and Children’s Hospital, Bemina. The top floor of the ward building of Bone and Joint Hospital Barzulla, the only such hospital in Kashmir, was damaged in a fire incident in 2022, but the hospital continues to operate out of the same of same building. Although the construction work on an additional 120 bedded block, funded by the World Bank has been taken up three years ago, it is yet to be completed. The building has missed several deadlines thus far.”
“The district level hospitals across Jammu and Kashmir paints the same dismal picture. In absence of radio therapy facilities in such hospitals, the cancer patients have to endure immense hardships. They have to seek the treatment in Srinagar and other private hospitals which enhances their treatment cost.”
“The shortage of manpower has not only placed additional strain on the existing staff in the SKIMS and other hospitals, but also raises concerns over the quality of care being provided to the patients. Moreover, the lack of crucial equipment stymies the patient care.”
“It is important that the vacant slots be filled on fast track basis to ensure the seamless functioning of these premier hospitals.” [KNT]