Army Cantonment Board abandons Children’s Hospital

Army Cantonment Board abandons Children’s Hospital
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JK govt mulls complete takeover, dissolution of dual control of GB Pant

Manzoor-ul-Hassan

Srinagar: The government is mulling to fully takeover the management of GB Pant Hospital as the Army Cantonment Board Badambagh has abandoned the sole children’s hospital in the Valley.
The hospital was run under joint management of Army and JK government’s Health and Medical Education department since 2005 when a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the two. Sources in the health department say that a proposal has been sent to the government to review the MoU as the cantonment board officials have been skipping management meetings since 2012.
The cantonment board officials, sources said, also skipped a meeting called last week by the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir and the health department regarding the management of the hospital.
The department now feels that the cantonment board’s lack of participation in joint management was jeopardising the health services at the hospital.
“The officials of the health department and the doctors (at the hospital) have proposed to dissolve the agreement with the cantonment board to improve the facilities at the hospital and bring about accountability,” a senior official of the health department told Kashmir Reader.
Last week, the administration of the Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar requested for a review of the MoU stating that the hospital administration is facing serious hurdles in taking measures to improve sanitation, contain hospital infections and remove encroachments that can hinder the movement of vehicles in terms of emergencies like fire.
“As per the MoU, the sanitation outside the hospital has to be looked after by the cantonment authorities. However, on the ground, there is no action from the board,” reads a letter by GMC Srinagar, a copy of which is with Kashmir Reader.
It says the people and doctors are also facing huge inconvenience in the absence of supporting infrastructure like canteens, attendant sheds and parking spaces. “These are the long-pending demands which need to be sorted out with the cantonment board,” the letters notes.
The administration of the GB Pant Hospital had alleged that the board authorities didn’t respond to many important communications sent to them by the hospital.
Reconstruction of the damaged Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) at the hospital is also affected by the lack of participation by the board in the management. In the absence of proper sewerage treatment, the hospital has turned into a cesspool causing dangerous infections.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Khan, has also given a one-month deadline to the Cantonment Board officials to take-over the sanitation of the hospital, improve its surroundings and construct the necessary infrastructure.
“The Divisional Commissioner has taken a serious note of the complaints and issued a warning note to cantonment board,” a senior GMC official told Kashmir Reader. “We won’t tolerate any laxity from any administration in affairs of GB Pant Hospital. Cantonment board should take its job seriously otherwise we would be forced to end the agreement with you,” the official quoted from the Divisonal Commissioner’s note.
Principal GMC Srinagar, Dr Samia Rashid, said they recommended slew of measures to improve the healthcare facilities at GB Pant Hospital, including a complete takeover of over the management of the hospital by the medical college.
“I have written to government about different measures to improve healthcare at GB Pant hospital. However, I am little hopeful about change of approach by cantonment board after Divisional Commissioner’s intervention. Let’s hope they turn up so that we will be able to improve the hospital,” she said.

 

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