SRINAGAR: Amid the season’s biting cold, the majority of Srinagar’s hospitals turn off their heating facility during the night, causing immense inconvenience to patients and attendants. The hospitals include the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital (SMHS), the Chest Disease Hospital (CD), the Bone and Joints Hospital and Lal Ded.
At SMHS Hospital, patients are left shivering through both day and night as the heating system does not work for most parts of the day and is switched off at night by hospital regulation, patients and attendants said.
“We are shivering at night after 2.30 am as the heating system is turned off. We use water bottles to overcome the cold,” said Abdul Rashid (name changed) in ward 5 at SMHS Hospital. He has undergone a surgery and has been admitted in the hospital for the last six days.
The hospital’s medical superintendent declined to comment. Another administrator at the hospital said that he was not authorised to speak to the media.
In CD Hospital, where patients with chronic asthma and other chest diseases are admitted, the situation was no different. Patients complained they could not bear the cold during the winter nights and say they bring Kangris (firepots) to fight the cold.
“We are not getting any proper heating facility so we have to bring Kangris or water bottles when we are shivering with the immense cold at night,” said Rashid Mir, 22, of Pattan. He has been in the hospital for the past week.
CD Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Nazir Choudary told Kashmir Reader, “The hospital provides heating facility as per a schedule. We can’t provide 24 hours heating facility because of budget constraints.”
According to him, heating is provided in intervals starting from 5 am to 1 pm and again from 6 pm to 12 am. However he admitted that Kangris aggravate the illnesses of patients suffering from chest diseases.
In Bone and Joint Hospital, Barzulla, patients also lamented that the heating facility is only intermittently available.
Javaid Ahmad, 34, of Shopian said, “We are not being given proper heating facility, and for most of the day, the heating arrangement remains shut. At 11 pm, it is turned off, and we are left shivering in the cold,” he said, adding, “We have to keep water bottles with us at night so as to keep warm when the temperature goes below zero.”
The Deputy Medical Superintendent Bone and Joint Hospital declined to comment on the issue.