By: Ahmad Shabir
Anantnag: The poor patients in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district are being pushed to the wall as the Government Medical College (GMC) in the district is running short of testing strips to conduct triple serology of the patients.
Triple serology includes screening for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. These tests are conducted through a rapid method by using strips.
All the patients who are scheduled to undergo surgeries are supposed to get these investigations done before being operated.
However, for the last couple of weeks, sources said, the GMC Anantnag, which was declared tertiary care facility for twin districts of south Kashmir last year is running short of these test kits.
The non-availability of these test kits in the hospital, sources said, is forcing the patients to visit the private diagnostic centers to get these tests done.
“My sister was advised triple serology by the doctor who is supposed to under surgery after two days. When I went to the GMC laboratory to get these tests done, we were asked to get them conducted outside. The people in the laboratory clearly told us that they have no kits used for these tests available,” said a local, Khurshid Ahmad.
Hundreds of patients both in OPD and surgical departments, a source said are asked to get the triple serology done at outside laboratories every day.
“In hospital these tests are done for Rs 120 to 150 while as private labs charge 300 to 400 rupees for this triple screening,” the source said.
A doctor posted at GMC described the non-availability of the triple serology kits as highly ironical.
“A territory healthcare facility having no test kits is more than an irony. It is finally the poor patients who have to bear the brunt of this mismanagement,” the doctor said.
Principal of the GMC, Prof Tariq Qureshi admitted that they were running short of kits but added that the kits were made available today.
“Yes, we were running short of kits but we have brought them today. We don’t have any shortage now. Patients facing issues with regard to this can talk to me directly,”
However, a patient, Tariq Ahmad belied the claims, saying that he was asked to get these tests done outside only in the afternoon today.
“May be they have brought the kits later in the day but by early afternoon they were not available. And the question is that why such important testing kits run short in the hospital for weeks together,” Tariq questioned.