Past keeps Sanat Nagar maternity hospital desolated

SRINAGAR: Health officials and doctors are finding it hard to convince people to visit the maternity hospital at Sanat Nagar for treatment. Reason: The patients are reluctant to visit owing to its “haunting past”.
The officials have been trying to put the hospital, built in 1970s, to some use by referring post operative patients from the Lal Ded hospital.
“We refer antenatal and post operative patients to Sanat Nagar maternity hospital. Laparoscopies are also done there. But literary we have to push patients towards the hospital. They are always reluctant to go,” said a resident medical officer at Lal Ded hospital.
“We would make patients to sit in an ambulance and drop them there. This is height of distrust they have in that hospital. Even the patients from Sanat Nagar don’t even prefer to go there,” the doctor said.
The officials blame the history of the hospital for the patient mistrust.
A doctor on condition of anonymity said that the hospital, before the eruption of militancy, was meant for industrial workers.
During militancy, the doctor said, the hospital was under the control of troops and their doctors would often treat wounded militants there. No doctor from health department or government medical college was posted there during the period.
“The troopers had constructed their bunkers in the hospital which scared people from going there. The hospital was sort of a torture cell,” the doctor said.
In 2000, government medical college took the hospital under its custody.
“The hospital was turned into a H1N1 control centre, where the sampling of the patients was done. So again people feared coming to the hospital,” the doctor said.
It was only during last year’s floods that hospital was put to some use.
“Round the clock surgeries started in the hospital for the first time. And when Lal Ded hospital started functioning, the hospital again lost its sheen,” the doctor said.
After floods, the Family Planning Unit of Lal Ded took charge of the hospital. The hospital, besides checking antenatal and post operative patients, also counsels women about use of contraceptives and family planning.
Deputy medical superintendent of the hospital, Nazir Khan is trying hard to resurrect this institution.
“I don’t want the hospital to remain defunct. I am sending my nurses to Lal Ded hospital who motivate patients and bring them here for antenatal and post operative check-ups. We also have a physician here,” the deputy medical superintendent said.
“We need to generate patients’ belief in the hospital. We are trying to facilitate them in every possible way.”