SHOPIAN: No washrooms for patients and attendants, no system for urine sample collection and the foul odour caused by an abandoned sewage trench laid down inside the hospital building are causing tremendous annoyance to attendants, patients and doctors at the new District Hospital Shopian building, compounded by the utter unconcern of the authorities.
Despite the government of Jammu and Kashmir having recently declared JK an ‘open defection-free state’, patients and attendants here at DH Shopian are forced to sit under the open sky for their toilet needs and to take samples for urine tests.
Many patients, including women folk, were seen sitting in the open space around the hospital premises, either to answer nature’s call or for collecting their urine samples for test purposes.
Some of the patients whom Kashmir Reader talked to said that there were no washrooms in Shopian hospital, which has forced them to go outside the building, resulting in filth and unhygienic conditions all around it. “There are several washrooms inside the new hospital building but those are not for patients. They (doctors and paramedical staff) put locks on the washroom doors after their personal use,” said a patient visiting the hospital.
Right outside the new hospital building, is a dirt stretch that people use for their toilet requirements, resulting in a bad odour and extreme lack of hygiene.
A doctor said, wishing not to be named, that he had not seen such a mess in any hospital. Here people are forced to sit under open sky, even for collection of test samples, he said. “It’s a shame for the authorities and they must look for its solution,” he said.
Another paramedic staffer said that even women are being seen sitting under open space but the authorities are unmoved. “I often see women coming near my room’s window for collection of urine and I have several times asked them why don’t they go to the washroom. Their reply stunned me as there were no washrooms for them,” he said.
Besides the lack of washrooms, the hospital is facing a bad odour caused by an open trench which was left during the construction of a lift.
Insiders from the hospital told Kashmir Reader that the lift plans had been shelved and the abandoned trench has been filled with contaminated water and dirt, which is what is causing the hospital’s massive bad smell. They said that even doctors and paramedic staff had taken ill after working in the noxious environment.
Medical Superintendent, DH Shopian, Dr Zahoor Ahmad said that he will look into the matter. “The new washroom complex has not yet been inaugurated, and we are waiting for that,” he said.
When asked why the washrooms inside the hospital were not being kept open for patients, he said, “I will look into this matter.”
The MS added that the trench now filled with water and dirt was left by the Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Cooperation. “I told them to clear this and to use motors to take out the water from it,” he said. But his efforts to maintain basic levels of sanitation were not acted upon.