SOPORE: On the World Tuberculosis Day observed across the globe on Thursday, the Tuberculosis Hospital in Sopore town of north Kashmir remained closed for patients as its medical staff was busy attending the official event.
The patients, many of whom travelled to the hospitals from far off areas, had to return without getting consultations or treatment.
An orderly—the only employee present in the hospital—told Kashmir Reader that the hospital remains closed on the World Tuberculosis Day every year.
“It is a holiday for this hospital because doctors have to attend the tuberculosis function at Sopore Degree College,” he said, wishing not to be named.
It left the patients and their attendants fuming.
Elderly Ghulam Mohammad Lone, a resident of Botingoo, said: “My wife has been suffering acute chest infection for the last couple of days. I came here today for her treatment, but we are being told that it is a holiday.”
“It is for the first time that I see a hospital observing ‘holiday’. An employee here asked me to take my wife to the Sub-District Hospital, Sopore.”
Aisha Begum, who had come travelled from far-off Handwara, added: “My child has severe cough. I took him to several doctors, but there was no improvement. Now I thought of coming here for his treatment, but the hospital is closed.”
To confirm, this reporter approached the concerned block medical officer (BMO), Dr Sameer, as an attendant, asking him about an imaginary patient having severe cough for the last two days.
He replied: “Take your patient to the Sub-District Hospital, as the Tuberculosis Hospital doctors are busy in a function.”
Asked if the patient could be provided an ambulance, he said: “Try to take your patient yourself because the hospital ambulances are also being used in the function.”
When called for his comments later, the BMO said they have informed everyone about the ‘holiday’ and asked the patients to visit the Sub-District Hospital for treatment.