Srinagar: Nearly 200 employees appointed for the super-specialty hospital at Shireen Bagh have been posted in other hospitals associated with Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar for the past many years.
Official sources told Kashmir Reader that most of the paramedic and nursing staff appointed for the super-specialty Hospital (SSH) in 2012, 2015 and 2016 have managed their transfer to other GMC hospitals. The SSH, they said is “remote-controlled” from SMHS Hospital and lacks a full-time administrator.
“GMC Srinagar authorities have failed to transfer nearly 100 nurses from other hospitals to the SSH. A similar number of paramedics and office staff are not being posted at the SSH. It is delaying the opening of in-patient services in many departments of the hospital,” said an administrator.
As per doctors, eight departments are yet to start in-patient services at SSH and have only been running OPDs for a few selected patients.
“The absence of paramedic and technical staff has also affected diagnostic facilities in the SSH. Patients have to go to private diagnostic centres to get tests done,” said a resident doctor.
Mehraj-ud-Din, an attendant who lives in Maharaj Bazar, said he had to spend more than Rs 3,000 to have his mother examined at a private diagnostic centre near Karan Nagar.
“She is a heart patient and is suffering from various ailments. She was referred from SMHS to this hospital for specialised treatment, but we were told by doctors here to get all the tests done outside, including CT, MRI and Holter,” he said.
Zahoor Ahmad, who brings his father for check-up at the SSH, said the hospital lacks wheelchairs and stretchers. “Sick and elderly patients have to walk and climb stairs to reach the doctor’s chambers or the wards. My father was unable to climb the ramp here and I had to bring a wheelchair from SMHS Hospital for him. It’s sheer mismanagement,” he said.
The SSH was conceived in 2008 to improve healthcare in Kashmir, especially trauma care. However, the government has failed to upgrade facilities here and has instead changed it from a trauma centre to a super-specialty hospital.
The in-charge medical superintendent of SSH, Dr Nazir Choudhary, admitted that staff appointed for SSH is posted in other GMC hospitals.
“We are in the process of calling them back. There is shortage of staff in the hospital as the appointed staff is posted elsewhere. We have taken up the issue with Principal GMC Srinagar. She is very keen to make the hospital fully operational. Let’s hope we get the adequate staff soon,” he said.
According to sources, only Gastroenterology department at SSH has started admitting patients referred from SMHS and other GMC hospitals. The other departments lack the staff to admit patients.
“Several reminders were sent to Principal GMC Srinagar but no action has been taken so far. The hospital administration has also sent many posts to recruiting agencies for fresh appointment. The delay in fresh recruitment has also hampered the hospital,” sources at the SSH said.
Earlier, Kashmir Reader has reported that the government has turned the SSH into an extended OPD for senior doctors of SMHS Hospital, and only 11 specialist doctors are posted at the SSH.