Sonologists attend OPD at Budgam hospital

The pathetic condition of District Hospital (DH) Budgam once again brings the delinquency of state’s health department to the fore. With crumby services and deplorable sanitation in the hospital the patients are facing hardships in the district hospital and are being continuously referred to Srinagar which is putting pressure beyond capacity on already struggling health care system in the capital city.

The hospital was set up when Budgam district came into existence in 1979, and has been named after the noted religious scholar and founder of Anjuman Sharie Shian, Aga Syed Yousuf Al-Moosvi.

The hospital, officially a DH, has been rendered to no more than a Public Health Centre (PHC). Sources are saying that even after the post of A-Grade physician was created five years ago, there is no A-Grade physician present in the hospital. One A-grade physician was transferred to the DH, but has been appointed at Chrari Sharief.

The hospital has got only 50 per cent staff strength, and is said to be understaffed, with the result, the patients are suffering and in emergency situations are referred to Srinagar. Referral rate from District Hospital Budgam is said to be sky-high in comparison to other district hospitals, said insiders.

Ironically, the Hospital records show that that almost half of the staff posted in the hospital has been deputed elsewhere.

What is bewildering is that due to shortage of staff, employees engaged under Hospital Development Fund are compelled to work as theatre assistants, thus putting the lives of patients at huge risk.

The other shocking instances are: a person, who heads the Hospitals Blood Bank, is reportedly posted at PHC Ompora. Another person who manages Blood Bank does not function during night hours.

“What can take a person aback is that the Sanitary Supervisors at the Hospital routinely prepare duty roaster for paramedical staff, as they cry about the shortage of staff,” a staffer at the hospital said.

On the part of Government, no replacement is sent to the Hospital against doctors, paramedics and drivers who are relieved from their duties, he added.

The situation in the Hospital has worsened to the extent that Sonologists in the hospital, who are supposed to carry out ultrasonography tests (USGs), also see patients in the OPD, raising serious questions over the quality of services the patients are getting in the district.

Sources reveal that most of the doctors and paramedics do not mark their biometric attendance and out rightly refuse to do so, violating the rules and regulations.

Foul Sanitation

The sanitation condition at the Hospital is even worse, for a 16-bed Casualty- Emergency Wards, Hospital has got only two toilets, and that too outside the wards, thus giving a tough time to the patients.

According to sources the hospital earns over 4 lakh Rupees per month against tickets/GR etc. Out of the earned money, 1 lakh is paid as salary to the employees who have been engaged under Hospital Development Fund (HDF), rest of the money, sources reveal is to be spent on the emergency needs of the hospital, particularly sanitation, but the stinky toilets and poor sanitation is raising questions over the way that the money is being spent. 

The Hospital continues to struggles with poor sanitation despite the District Administration’s tall claims of spending more than 7 crore Rupees under Swach Bharat Mission during 2015-16.

No Fire and Emergency station

Like Srinagar’s GB Panth Hospital, District Hospital Budgam is also operating without a Fire and Emergency Services station, according to the sources, in a high-level meeting in (2011) it was decided that Fire and Emergency Services will be kept on alert near the hospital to tackle any untoward incident, However, there has been no development in this regard since then.

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