SRINAGAR: Scores of haemophiliac patients of Kashmir are suffering for the past three months owing to shortage of drugs at Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) hospital.
The patients accused the SMHS, the nodal hospital responsible for the treatment of haemophilia, of failing to acquire the drugs despite assuring health minister Lal Singh to keep them available round the clock.
“Not a single anti-haemophilia drug is available at SMHS for last three months despite the health minister’s directions to hospital authorities to ensure the availability of drugs every time,” a delegation of patients told Kashmir Reader,
Haemophilia is a genetic disorder characterized by loss of the normal clotting ability of blood. People with severe haemophilia often experience internal bleeding. This usually occurs around the joints and muscles, causing pain and stiffness.
At the hospital, the patients are being provided anti-haemophilic factors (AHFs) and any delay in administering the drug to the patients can prove life threatening. AHFs are very costly in open market.
President of Kashmir Haemophilia Society, Syed Maajid said that the attitude of the authorities towards them was highly indifferent.
“At least 60 patients registered with the society who have been visiting the hospital for last two and half months have to return rejected every time as the hospital authorities clearly tell them that they neither have any drugs available nor any budget to purchase the same,” said Majid.
He said that most of these patients continue to bleed for want of drugs and have even developed swellings in their knees and elbow joints. “The non- availability of anti-haemophilic drugs even marred the Eid celebrations of dozens of patients as they could not come out of their beds due to the severe pain in their joints,” he said.
Another patient undergoing treatment at the SMHS said that the principal of the hospital assured health minister, Lal Singh that drugs for haemophiliacs will be kept available round the clock.
“But even after the assuring the minister, drugs are again running short for nearly last three months,” the patient said.
“It is only when we register our protest or knock the doors of the court, the SMHS authorities purchase some drugs which get exhausted within a month or two making the patients wait for months again,” he said.
Acknowledging that there was a shortage of drugs, SMHS medical superintendent, Dr Nazir Chaudhary said that they don’t have any funds to purchase the same.
“We don’t have any budget for the purpose. We have sent a proposal to the government and once the funds are released, we will waste no time to purchase the medicine,” Chaudhary said.