Mufti-Lal Singh tussle over gynae ward at GB Pant Hospital creates uncertainty

SRINAGAR: It remains uncertain whether gynaecological section at the GB Pant Hospital (GBPH) will stay in the hospital, as health minister Lal Singh proclaimed, or it will be shifted elsewhere, as chief minister Mufti Sayeed has desired. Till the question is settled, both patients and doctors say their problems have only increased.
During his recent visit to the hospital, Mufti had said the gynaecological section would be relocated to make space for paediatric surgery wing. However, Singh said on Saturday the section “won’t go anywhere”. This has created a difficult situation for the administration.
“We are really in a confused state. Since this morning we are not able to decide whether to assign dates to expecting mothers or call other patients for follow-ups,” said assistant surgeon Dr Kirpal Kour.
Saja, who was scheduled to undergo C-section today, said, “The doctors have told me to go to Lal Ded hospital. I have been coming to this hospital for the past nine months now. Just because some minister or chief minister is saying something doesn’t mean they can turn me out now.”
As of now, the administration has not received any order regarding the gynaecological section, whose fate has become another power tussle between the PDP and its coalition partner, BJP.
The hospital, which is the only paediatric hospital in the Valley, is facing space crunch because the ground floor which was inundated by the flood in September 2014 is yet to be restored.
A resident medical officer said the problem of space would be resolved to a large extent if the gynaecological section is relocated.
Of the 1200 child patients examined daily on an average in the OPD, about 350 are admitted to the 200-bedded hospital. Hence two children sharing a single bed is a common.
“A majority of children are brought here from rural areas and since there is no other children’s hospital in the Valley we cannot say no to anyone,” the RMO said.
He said the gynae section does not conduct surgeries after 4pm and often refer patients to Lal Ded.
However, gynaecologists at the GBPH differ. Dr Kour said the section restarted working in May this year after the flood and has performed 20 surgeries and assisted in three normal deliveries.
“Before floods we would do 40 surgeries a month. Now we need time to fully restore it,” Dr Kirpal said.
Medical Superintendent GBPH Mushtaq Ahmad said the hospital expects the government to decide on the gynae section’s fate by tomorrow.
“We will take decisions according to what the government decides,” he said.