By: Ahmad Shabir
Anantnag: After the Institute of Information Technology (IIT) Jammu expressed safety concerns and recommended that Rahmat-e-Alam hospital should not be used for hospital purposes, the authorities have decided to shift the Maternity and Child Hospital (MCH) Anantnag to the main campus of the Government Medical College (GMC) hospital.
Under construction Rahmat-e-Alam hospital owned by a private trust was taken over by the government four years ago along with liabilities and assets with the purpose to shift the space starved and unsafe MCH from congested Sherbagh locality.
Though two storeys of the hospitals had already been constructed by the trust, the government later allotted the contract for completion of the building including construction of two more storeys to JKPCC without going for any safety audit of the already constructed ground and first floors.
Later, when JKPCC completed the major part of the construction and spent crores of rupees on it, the government tasked the IIT Jammu to conduct safety audit of the building. It took the audit agency more than a year to come up with the report in which it suggested jacketing of beams and pillars of first two storeys.
Months later, the agency, according to officials, recently suggested that the building is not safe for neonatal and pediatric ICUs and recommended that the same should not be used for hospital purpose.
Following recommendations of the audit agency, the authorities have now decided to shift the maternity hospital to main GMC hospital in Janglat Mandi area of the town.
Though the shifting of the MCH to the old spacious building of GMC hospital was the growing demand of civil society members but the political intervention did never let that happen as the medicates running shops outside the existing MCH hospital opposed the move and used all their political connections to halt its shifting, sources said.
Principal GMC, Anantnag, Dr Tariq Qureshi said that they have decided to shift the MCH to main GMC hospital in a phased manner.
“Major five storey block of the GMC hospital is under construction. Once its ground and first floors are completed, we will shift the pediatric wing of MCH including neonatal ICU. And on the completion of the entire block, the maternity wing will also be shifted. We will do it in a phased manner,” Principal said.
The existing MCH building in Sherbagh area is not only space starved but even does not have an approach road, which cause agonies to the expecting women, who are visiting the hospital.
“Now that the recommendation against using Rahmate Alam building for hospital has come, we are left with no option but to shift the MCH to main GMC hospital campus. I want all the departments of the medical college at one place only,” Principal said.
He, however, said that they won’t abandon Rahmat-e-Alam building as crores of rupees have been spent on its construction.
“We may use the building for office or laboratory purposes. We can also use it for Gynae OPD,” Principal said.