Srinagar: Buckets were placed and machines removed from the endoscopy lab at SKIMS hospital in Soura on Monday, for the floor was flooded with water leaking from the roof. Patients who had come with empty stomachs for endoscopy tests were told nothing of this waterlogged state of affairs until the afternoon, when they were informed that the lab won’t be able to run for at least the next two days.
Laboratory staff said that when they arrived in the morning, they found the floor to be flooded. The entire machinery and the electrical equipment had been rendered dysfunctional.
Hospital officials said that the upper ceiling of the lab was filled with rain water following rainfall on Saturday. With no outlet for the water, the roof began to leak. The laboratory staff removed the machines and placed plastic buckets and other containers to collect the leaking water, but the lab won’t be dry enough to function for at least the next two days.
“The water is still trickling from many holes. We have put up about half a dozen buckets and containers under the leaking water. To avoid any damage to machinery, we have shifted it to safer places. But we still can’t resume operations,” a hospital official said.
Patients may receive electric shocks and there are high chances of short circuit if the lab is made operational in the wet circumstances.
“The water is tricking from holes where electric wires are installed. There is good amount of rain water stored in pipes that could cause short circuit. The moisture can also damage the costly machines,” officials said.
As most endoscopy tests require patients to fast for up to 12 hours before the procedure, the patients who had come on Monday, including those from far-off places, were left stranded for hours while officials and staff busied themselves with the evacuation of the lab. Patients were later told to get new appointments, that too on the condition of fair weather.
“Since 7 in the morning, I along with my husband have been waiting for my turn but nobody informed us whether the tests would be conducted or not. We were kept waiting for hours till 1pm when a (lab) official told us to seek a new appointment as the lab won’t be functioning for at least the next two days,” Fareeda, an elderly lady from Shopian, said. She said she was baffled to hear the condition of “fair weather” from an official regarding her new appointment.
Accusing engineers and construction workers of lackadaisical attitude, a senior lab official said that they had left the construction of the building half-way. “Here (at hospital), where everything should be operational throughout 24 hours, a minor mistake can lead to crisis,” he said.
SKIMS Medical Superintendent Dr Tabish Amin told Kashmir Reader that he would sort out the matter at once. “I had some academic engagements on Monday. I would sort it out immediately,” Amin assured.