SRINAGAR: The medicos and officials at the Chest Disease Hospital demand relocation of the ageing facility.
Situated on Koh-e-Sulaiman at Dalgate, the hospital was established by the Christina missionaries in 1864 for the treatment of tuberculosis and other chest-related diseases.
The location was chosen in order to provide patients a fresh and soothing environment.
But the hospital has since been running in the same old-fashioned building that doesn’t have an elevator or ambulance bay.
According to the insiders, the hospital is also lacking in equipments, particularly wheelchairs. Due to paucity of wheelchairs, the attendants sometimes have to carry patients on their backs.
“I have no other option but to carry my brother, who is disabled and asthmatic, on my back, as there are no wheelchairs available in the hospital,” an attendant, who had come from Tral in south kashmir, shared.
The officials at the hospital opined that building a new hospital elsewhere would be cheaper than renovating the existing one, which carries a heritage tag.
“How can a wheelchair help when there is no proper pathway or elevator? Even if we had enough wheelchairs, it will take four people to carry one patient uphill into the wards,” a doctor at the hospital said.
The hospital, according to the officials, has other problems too. The staff as well as the patients or attendants, for instance, need to trek several meters to go from one department to the next; the wards are too small and the waiting room in the emergency section isn’t spacious.
Deputy medical superintendent at the hospital, Dr Syed Peerzada, said the hospital is extremely challenging because of its location.
“This hospital needs to be shifted to some other place in the city where all facilities can be provided to patients,” he said.