Srinagar: Mushtaq Ahmad, 40, looks desperate and exhausted as he carries his three-year-old injured son at the SMHS Hospital casualty. The kid is restless and sobs continuously while the parents feel helpless. The feed they were carrying for the child has also finished. With the cold shivering them down and the child growing impatient, they are at their wit’s end.
“We have been waiting since morning at the Casualty to get his simple ECHO test done. Doctors at Bone and Joint Hospital referred him to Super Specialty Hospital this morning for the treatment of infection. However, more than five hours have passed no treatment could be started because tests are yet to be done,” says Ahmad of Char-i-Sharief.
He said the child has been screaming since morning because of a left arm fracture.
“No one is helping us here. Doctors want to see test reports which are taking too much time. We are going from one hospital to another only for simple ECHO test because, the employees wind up the facility at 2 pm,” the father adds.
Muhammad Noorani, 45, a resident of Bandipora, is facing a similar situation. He, along with his elderly father, has been waiting at the Emergency department for four hours for a CT scan.
“My father cannot sit or stand properly for more than five minutes. But, he was forced to wait for hours for a CT scan which takes just a few minutes and should be done on priority for elderly and children,” he told Kashmir Reader.
“When we enquired from the CT scan operator about the reason for delay he said he was working alone. What is the fun of the facility if it brings inconvenience to ailing people in a government hospital,” says Noorani.
The Radiology department at SMHS Hospital has two ultrasonography (USG) and only one Computerised Tomography (CT) scanner, where all emergency and indoor patients line up to get their scans done.
Long and unending queues of patients at the radio diagnostic center at SMHS is a common sight.
According to sources, over 100 patients need ultrasound tests on a daily basis while 50 are advised CT scans.
“We have two USG machines and one CT machine in the Radiology department. The government should buy more machines and streamline the staff that can do the tests,” said a senior doctor.
Despite repeated attempts, Medical Superintendent Dr Saleem Tak didn’t answer the calls.