SRINAGAR: The elevator in new building of the largest maternity hospital of Kashmir—Lal Ded Maternity hospital—is dysfunctional for several weeks causing immense trouble to the patients and their attendants. The lack of lift facility is forcing pregnant ladies and caesarian patients to climb up staircases for several stories. The patients unable to climb the stairs are escorted on wheelchairs.
Worse, the patients discharged from the labour room or the operation theatres are shifted to recovery ward before they are adjusted in wards on the fourth and fifth floors. “It is a Herculean task to shift patients to the upper stories without a functional elevator. Most of the patients go through a virtual hell while being taken to top floors,” an official of the hospital said.
He said while some of the attendants try to manage wheel chairs, others lift the patients on trolleys.
“My wife underwent caesarean. When the doctors asked us to shift her to the ard from the operation theater, it was nightmarish,” Feroz Ahmad, husband of a patient said.
“It is dangerous to escort the patient through the slippery ramp. It is prone to accidents,” he said.
“It creates lots of problems for patients as well as attends. My child is not well and he is admitted in paediatric ward in the old block of this hospital. I have to descend down the stairs after intervals for breastfeeding my newborn child,” Shaziya Akhtar, a patient from south Kashmir’s Kulgam district told Kashmir Reader.
“We complained to the hospital authorities but they are blaming the people for rendering the elevator dysfunctional. They say the repairs would involve a huge cost,” said Ghulam Rasool, a volunteer associated with a charity group said.
The doctors say that they are themselves suffering due to the elevator halt. “We are well aware about the problem for the last 20 days. We also suffer because of this but there is nothing in our hands. We can only plead with the higher ups to looks into the matter,” a doctor, wishing not to be identified, said.
Medical superintended of Lal Ded hospital Dr Mushtaq Ahmed said, “The elevator has developed a technical snag. It is the prerogative of the JKPCC to fix it. We have taken up the matter with them.”
He said the patients can use the ramp that goes right upto three levels.