Inadequate staff grapple with huge patient inflow at SDH Bandipora

Inadequate staff grapple with huge patient inflow at SDH Bandipora
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Bandipora: The huge daily patient inflow has left Sub-district Hospital Bandipora grappling with providing quality health care. The lack of staff and technicians has even rendered the operation theatre functional only in emergencies, according to officials in the hospital.
According to the officials, the hospital is not sufficiently staffed to function normally while catering to the district’s huge population. The hospital, said the medical in-charge “treats 1,200 patients daily in the outpatient department, apart from indoor patients”.
Operating out of a decades-old building, the hospital is nowhere near sufficient to tackle the patient inflow. The SDH administration had to create makeshift rooms for the child health clinic and the casualty section, apart from for the male ward.
The block medical officer in-charge said that though all the hospital’s posts are occupied, the staff strength is still inadequate. As of now, the Bandipore SDH has three specialists including seven medical officers, whose posts are all filled, besides four dental surgeons and two dental technicians. The two X-ray technicians and two lab assistants’ posts are also occupied. Though the OT assistant’s post is lying vacant as “the person is attached to Director Health Services Kashmir which have almost stopped the regular operations there and works in emergencies only”. Adding he said: the strike of the National Health Mission (NHM) employees was also contributing to making the situation tough.
Despite being elevated to District Hospital years ago, the hospital still functions as a sub-district hospital due to its new structure at Nussu being incomplete from more than a decade now. The district administration, though, has stated that it is mulling to make the new hospital partially functional in the first week of February; the staff strength, however, “will remain the issue”. According to the officer privy to the new medical posts being alloted for the district, the hospital was not sufficient. “Though some specialists’ posts have been increased, the strength of medical officers has been kept the same as it is at present in SDH. But they are not financially approved yet and will start functioning in the next financial year.” The new specialist doctors, he added, were not sufficient as the district needed more. Even the theatre technicians’ posts were also not sufficiently increased.
The officer said, “The incomplete structure of the new hospital also remains an issue. It is not yet possible that it (the hospital) will be fully shifted; the pending internal works will determine the timing.”
“We check in almost 500-600 new patients each day who buy new tickets, apart from the follow-up cases, which are more than 600,” the officer said.
The NHM employees’ strike, according to the officer, is making the situation worse as they occupy important positions as theatre assistants, lab assistants and medical officers. “The strike has affected the overall functioning of the already overburdened hospital as even the routine operations at the theatre have also taken a hit due to the absence of assistants.”
“We are conducting emergency operations in the theatre as surgeries are an issue as of now; we hire private theatre assistants and carry out emergency operations,” said Dr Bilques, Chief Medical Officer, Bandipora.