Critical patients await surgery for months at SKIMS’ CVTS dept

Critical patients await surgery for months at SKIMS’ CVTS dept
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Specialists’ infighting, poor infrastructure said to be main reasons

SRINAGAR: Patients admitted to the Cardio Vascular Thorasic Surgery (CVTS) Department of Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura, have been forced to wait for months before undergoing surgeries for life threatening conditions.
Sources told Kashmir Reader that the main reason of the delay is the infighting between consultants and the Head of the Department (HoD).
“Nearly 50 complaints have been received by the Medical Superintendent and the Director’s Office in the last three months regarding the delay in surgeries at CVTS Department. Most of the patients admitted to the department had to wait for more than a month,” an official told Kashmir Reader.
The most recent complaint received was by Ali Muhammad Lone, a heart patient from Pulwama who was denied surgery twice last week after department head Dr Ghulam Nabi Lone cancelled it at the last moment.
Lone told Kashmir Reader that he had been pushed out of the theatre many times in the last one month because the Head of the Department didn’t give approval for the surgery despite it having received clearance at the department’s weekly surgical meetings.
“My condition is deteriorating day by day. I am losing hope of survival. My family is also suffering because I have been admitted here for the last one month,” said the 50-year-old PHE department employee.
Doctors have declared him a ‘high-risk patient’ because of the deadly heart condition. “We have to replace his heart valves, otherwise he may not survive,” said a resident doctor.
Another patient from south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, wishing anonymity, said he had been waiting for surgery since October.
“Doctors delayed my surgeries without any reason. They always come up with one excuse or the other,” he said.
A group of doctors told Kashmir Reader that the CVTS Department had been neglected by the higher-ups.
“There are more than 30 patients admitted in our ward with various heart, chest and thoracic-related ailments, but the hospital’s infrastructure, like ICU beds and life-support equipment, is not sufficient. Sometimes patients have to wait for the want of these facilities,” they said.
Dr Lone admitted that patients had to wait and surgeries are being cancelled. However, he denied infighting as the reason for it.
“We have to see the availability of infrastructure so that no patient is put to risk unnecessarily. We have limited infrastructure, so patients are asked to wait,” he said.
According to him, some surgeons are not allowed to do advanced surgeries due to their lack of experience.