MCH Anantnag: Non-availability of ventilators compels doctors to refer neonates to Srinagar

By: Ahmad Shabir

Anantnag: Even as the lone maternity and child hospital (MCH) in South Kashmir remains under the administrative control of the Government Medical College Anantnag for last over two years, the major healthcare facility continues to be without ventilators.

Due to the non-availability of the ventilators, doctors are forced to refer the neonates and children to Srinagar which many a time results into the delay in their treatment.

MCH caters to the patients from entire southern region besides the parts of Jammu including Banihal and Kishtwar. The most overcrowded hospital functions from a space starved building having been declared unsafe by the authorities four years ago. The facility earlier was working under the control of health department and was later associated with the medical college Anantnag.

Though bringing the hospital under the control of medical college Anantnag had raised the hopes of people about improvement in healthcare at the facility but nothing seems to have changed except the installation of new beds.

Despite the government releasing crores of rupees for the infrastructure development of the medical college and its associated hospitals, the authorities have failed to install a ventilators at the facility.

“Children admitted at the hospital are often referred to Srinagar for ventilatory support. Healthcare in the hospital has not improved a bit after it was associated with the medical college,” locals resident who often visit the hospital say.

The delay in the treatment caused by the non-availability of the ventilator at times proves disastrous for the children needing it immediately.

For instance, wife of a local resident, Arif Hassan few weeks ago delivered a premature baby in the hospital. Soon after the baby was born , doctors shifted him to neonatal care unit straightway from.the operation theater.

After several hours as the baby showed no signs of improvement , the doctors clearly told Arif that they have no option but to shift his baby to Srinagar.

“Your baby needs ventilator and we don’t have the one available here. If you want the baby to survive you immediately take him to Srinagar for which we can provide you critical care ambulance,” doctors , Arif said, told him.
Worried about his baby’s health, Arif approached HOD paediatrics to complain about the non-availability of the ventilator.

“When I told him that I will get the issue highlighted , HOD replied ‘please do something so that people can have heave some relief. We too are helpless. If you get it highlighted it will be your favor to the patients,” Arif quoted HOD as having told him.

Principal , GMC Anantnag , Dr Tariq Qureshi said that they have no space for installation of ventilators. “At main hospital campus we have some ventilators for the children above one year but for the babies below the age group of one year we have no facility available. Once MCH is shifted to main hospital campus we will set up an intensive care unit where all the facilities will be ensured,” the Principal said.


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