SHOPIAN: After more than a decade of wait and suffering, the people of district Shopian should have been able at last look to forward to some relief in terms of healthcare facilities as the new building of the district hospital is about to be completed. But planning deficiencies persist once again as the new structure is without a ramp or a lift.
Official sources from the Health Department said that there is no provision for construction of a ramp for the present structure but it would be inserted between the two buildings of the hospital complex. But of the two buildings, just one has been built while the other is still only on paper. Officials from the Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation (JKPCC), however, said that they have kept space for the ramp and can build it, if the funds get released.
The construction of the hospital building was started a decade ago at a cost of Rs 21 crore. However, due to delay in release of funds from the government and the slow pace of work, ten years have passed but the building is still incomplete. “We will hand over the building to the Health Department within two months, we have completed it but it needs internal maintenance,” Masood Ahmad Wangoo, Deputy General Manager, JKPCC, told Kashmir Reader.
Doctors from the hospital said that, technically speaking, the operation theatres have been made but being on the third floor of a building without the facility of a ramp, its utility is questionable. Once a patient gets operated, how will he or she be shifted to the wards below, they asked.
Furthermore, arrangements for installing a lift have not yet been finalised by the government for this four-storey, hundred-bedded building. “We suffer a lot in terms of lack of facilities at Shopian hospital, and it seems this new building wouldn’t give us any relief as it lacks technical things like ramp and lift,” Gulzar Ahmad, a local resident of Shopian, said.
The lone operation theatre in the old building of this hospital according to doctors is outdated as well as unhygienic. “It lacks space and modern equipments as well as a good, pleasant structure,” a doctor said.
A group of locals said that the government should either construct another building soon, without any delay, or should make arrangements of ramp and lift in the existing building. Or this four-storey building is useless as far as health care facilities are concerned, they said.
Chief Medical Officer Shopian told Kashmir Reader that he has seen the design of the project and the facility of the ramp is scheduled in between its two buildings. “The building is incomplete as yet, and we will make arrangements of a lift, but the ramp would be only made between the two buildings,” he said. When told that JKPCC is about to hand over the building to the health department, he said they made many such promises but didn’t complete the building.
Pertinently, over three lakh people inhabiting district Shopian are dependent on this hospital for its health care facilities, but most of the patients from this district get treatments from hospitals of other districts and Srinagar, which brings a heavy load to those hospitals.