Bandipora Hospital construction in 12th year, could go into 13th

Bandipora Hospital construction in 12th year, could go into 13th
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DC says will shift in June, CMO says will take another year

SRINAGAR: BANDIPORA: The authorities are causing a criminal delay in shifting Bandipora District Hospital (DH) to its new facility at Nusoo, a delay of no less than 12 years that is taking an immense toll on doctors and patients alike.
Tiny and lacking in facilities, the old DH had been long recognised as insufficient and a new building was sanctioned as far back as 2007. Work on it was begun the same year, under the Jammu and Kashmir Housing Board, at an estimated cost of Rs 24.32 crore. It was to be made functional by 2015.
However missed deadlines meant the postponement of the completion date, initially to the year 2017, as the then CMO in 2015 had informed Kashmir Reader. Now, a further three years later, work appears to have progressed at the project site and nearly everything is complete. “The speed of the work goes on with the flow of funds. More than 90 percent of the work is complete, despite a liability of Rs 7 crore,” an official informed.
But the authorities are still not in a mood to shift the hospital, although patients continue to frequent the old DH, despite its being too small to handle the patient rush. Not only is the old structure dilapidated, but it is too tiny to even accommodate machinery. The makeshift wards have been doubling up for years for both inpatients and the emergency ward, with the patients treated like a herd of sheep. “The cramped-up patients in the small hospital are more vulnerable to infections,” a local pointed out.
Block Medical Officer Dr Sayed Rehman bemoans the lack of staff, infrastructure, and machinery at the DH. He said, “Despite being a 30-bed hospital, only 12 beds are in use in the hospital. Tight space reduces working capacity which in turn triggers delayed surgeries. Our emergency services also operate from temporary sheds.”
The Operation Theatre does not have even a waiting room. Patients here for minor surgeries find themselves waiting on the staircase. The labour room, according to hospital staff, is no more than a small cubicle, which is both sad as well as dangerous. A gynaecology department staffer said, “The rush in the department is so heavy it cannot be handled due to lack of space. These patients are often shifted to Srinagar due to health risk here.”
The Chief Minister’s commitment programme in the district earlier this year stressed the need to shift the Bandipora DH by June. The chances of this remain bleak, according to one official, and the long dream may enter its 13th year.
“There are massive internal works still going on. To make it functional, it may eat up 2018 too,” Chief Medical Officer Dr Bilques said. But the Deputy Commissioner, Bandipora, Khurshid Ahmad Sanai opposes the view.
“The hospital will shift in June only, a day here or there, nothing more. The work which took them three years is taking months now as all funds have also come. It’s in the commitment,” assured Sanai.